The green between the black and white

2015-01-26 10:00

I have a tendency to visit restaurants whenever I reward myself for something that I regard as somewhat significant. What better place to do this than at one of my favourite restaurants at Camps Bay in Cape Town?

Being a regular, I have established an easy camaraderie with some of the waiters, who go out of their way to make sure that each customer is served in such a way that he or she returns.

I sauntered into the restaurant and one of the guys welcomed me with a smile as usual. After exchanging pleasantries, he ushered me to my seat and placed a menu on the table.

When he returned, he profusely apologised for going to serve a white customer who had walked into the restaurant after me. He explained that the white customer tipped more than me. He then promised to ask another waiter to attend to me.

I felt so belittled and violated by waiters who have served me for many years as one of their regular customers. I felt discriminated against purely because – by being a black person – the assumption was that I cannot compete with white people when paying tips.

Maybe it’s true, but was it wise for the waiter to make it a race issue?

Tutu Faleni


Faleni is a DA member of the North West legislature

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