Cape Town school pupils get 'Coconut award'

2012-08-14 10:16

Cape Town - A parent of a Cape Town high school pupil is offended at Grade 11 “awards” handed out with titles like the "Coconut" and the "Dark Knight", it was reported on Tuesday.

The unnamed parent told the Cape Argus that the Stellies Star award categories at Stellenberg High School, in Bellville, were offensive to her and her child.

The "Dark Knight" was awarded to the blackest pupil, and there was recognition for the "Gangster Wannabe" and the person with the most straightened hair, who was given the "GHD" [hair straightening machine] award.

School principal Theo Boonzaaier told the newspaper the Coconut Award was based on a television programme (The Coconuts), which told the story of a white family which transformed into a black family.

Coconut was often used as a derogatory term to describe black people who acted as if they were "white".

"[As for the Dark Knight Award] I haven't gone into that. We will have to put measures in place to make sure it [the awards] is not offensive to anyone," Boonzaaier said.

  • Koos - 2012-08-14 10:29

    I wouldn’t mind winning the white knight award or the gansta man award. I wouldn’t find it offensive at all. What other awards they got?

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-14 10:32

      People take things way too seriously. If I got offended evertime reference was made to my height (or lack of it) I would be permanently offended.

      Koos - 2012-08-14 10:59

      @junebugg.kinte: Ok, I’ll play. And what Junebugg would you consider the requirements to be awarded the Zuma award?

      Junebugg - 2012-08-14 11:06

      Koos sure why not, if I am incompetent...That would suit me.. Now lets play further more , how about giving you "Boeremag award"??

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-08-14 11:12

      So junebugg, why did you delete your comment? LOL the moment you mentioned the \Verwoerd Award\, it hurt the racist. That just shows what a hypocrite he is. Its okay for him to call others all these derogatory term, but don't mention Verwoerd, its offensive.

      Koos - 2012-08-14 11:12

      @junebugg.kinte: You see Zuma as incompetent? Ok.. I was going a whole other direction. Think more in the line of a bronzed zipper or condom on a stick. "Boeremag award" in school... mmm would that be awarded for "thinking without a box? Proud to be white? A little misguided? Ok my turn, Winnie Award?

      Koos - 2012-08-14 11:21

      @william.letsong.5: You not playing the game right. P.S. They deleted my comment as well. So what can you tell me about that?

      kaz.hse.7 - 2012-08-14 11:32

      Really now our schools have been "sissiefied" to an extreme. What ever happened to a good old "ontgroening / induction" at school. Hell, I remember being shaved (we played scratch and win for a few weeks after), dunked in some foul smelling sticky stuff and feathered. After which we were paraded in front everyone at the opening of the schools "inter house" athletics meet. Hell, in my workplace I am the only South African who get's called a "Yapie". Being offended by that will get me nowhere, maybe just a swift kick up the backside out the door....

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-08-14 11:32

      You see koos.vandermerwe, I'm not acting my shoe size, so I'm not interested to join your \game\ on a public platform. And oh let me remind you, my comment was a reply to june's post, I don't go into debates or in your case play games with racist. *ignored*.

      Koos - 2012-08-14 11:41

      @william.letsong.5: Racist, where? I really don't like people like you who yell "RACIST" just because you feel like it. You don't play, you don't debate so what are you doing here? Never mind, you weren't invite to play in any case.

      Junebugg - 2012-08-14 11:41

      @Koos this is fun, I think we ruined the game by mentioning the extreme ones first..I cant think of anything worse than Boeremag and I bet you cant think of anything worse than Zuma... We Should have started with Malema award and Steve hofmeyr Award, work our way up to Zuma and Boeremag

      Koos - 2012-08-14 11:49

      @junebugg.kinte: "Steve hofmeyr" Hahahaha oh hell yeah how could we forget about that one. One for the books that could go in all directions. Malama not so much... to cliche. Oh well guess the game ends but I had a few good one and I can just imagine the actual award. Most fun I had all day.

      jackal666.daniel - 2012-08-14 11:53

      HAHAHAHA! These comments really cheered me up! News 24 propaganda FAIL!!!

      oom.koos.7 - 2012-08-14 11:55

      These BLACK folk sure carry their CHIP as high as they can. It seems to be the best thing that ever happened to them. Being black has so many advantages. One can shout and scream for almost anything, and the rest of us are expected to actually give a toss. STOP TRYING TO BE SO SPECIAL...white kids are afraid to play with black kids at school, in case they land up being in trouble. White kids call each other names all day problem, no chip, no nothing... BLACKS, COME RIGHT ALREADY...we getting sick and tired of this game you play...!!!

      Koos - 2012-08-14 12:55

      @junebugg.kinte: Well that's not fair. Why you get 3 (it's actually way more then 3) and we only get 1. How many the Indians get and the coloreds? BEE don't play fair. Not fair at all.

      zambezi.river - 2012-08-14 13:31

      Did anybody get the vark face award?

      gerald.nchabeleng - 2012-08-14 14:09

      junbugg.kinte and koos.vandermerwe...loved your chat. people take themselves to seriously...but we know what monsters kids can be...hope dark night doesnt get scarred and grows to love that nick. black is beautiful!

  • nrgx.nrg - 2012-08-14 10:32

    for goodness sake, the awards were obviously tongue in cheek awards. Come on people, have a sense of humor. It is not offensive unless you you make it offensive. And I bet it was a laugh for the students who I assume werent offended at all.

      brett.macdonald1 - 2012-08-14 10:48

      True! I think more schools should teach their pupils satire. What better and more fun way than this? People are looking for a political debate behind every bush...

      oom.koos.7 - 2012-08-14 12:13

      "They"dont share "our"sense of humor."They"have a CHIP problem...and it works for "them"..

      lorain.maseko - 2012-08-14 14:44

      I've been called a coconut countless times by both black and white peole it has never bothered me,well maybe a little when i started high school but i got over it quickly. people are just too sensitive.

  • Billy - 2012-08-14 10:33

    was it really offensive to the child, or is the mother just saying that because she doesnt like it?

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-08-14 10:33

    "Coconut" actually refers to a person posessing both "white" as well as "black" attributes. It recognises a wider appreciation of perspectives and is in fact an aknowledgement of progressive thinking within a multicultural South Africa. A coveted compliment indeed.

      lorain.maseko - 2012-08-14 14:49

      Actually coconut is generally used as a deregotary term to describe someone who is black trying hard to be "white" so to speak,but i agree with the attributes you speak of,it's just that people generally say it to try and make you feel bad.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-08-14 16:04

      lorain : Only a racist will use the term "coconut" in a derogatory sense.

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-08-14 10:46

    The PC brigade again, finding fault where none lies again..........political correctness limits free speech – bottom line. I feel proud to be called a cracker, a honky or whatever gems other people come up with…………it’s what I answer to that counts. Stand tall people.

      Koos - 2012-08-14 11:28

      Here william, have a coconut.

      werner.coetzer.311 - 2012-08-14 11:42

      @william - idiot

      Koos - 2012-08-14 12:27

      William? William! WILLIAM!!!! Where did he go? Anyone seen William? He forgot his coconut....

      oom.koos.7 - 2012-08-14 13:22

      Whos William...??

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-08-14 10:46

    Not newsworthy. The media is just stirring

  • lungelo.yili - 2012-08-14 10:47

    hehehe, oh please. kids are far more comfortable with race than parents ever would be. lets stop making issues out of no-issues

      Victoria - 2012-08-14 11:05

      Lungelo that is exactly what I was thinking! If we start embracing our differences and see them as desirable traits/attributes/etc. then we all wold get on a whole lot better. My guess is that the school kids probably came up with the awards as something fun and silly. We also had awards in school, things like "most likely to be booked into a mental institute before the age of 25", "most likely to be a serial killer" and the list goes on! We always looked forward to the award and most of us secretly wished we would make it onto the list. So really lady you are making an issue out of something innocent and trivial. How about, first finding out how the awards came about?

      goyougoodthing - 2012-08-14 11:47

      Have to agree... they laugh at the differences and in so doing so unite... something us adults just don't get.

  • lydonmcg - 2012-08-14 10:47

    Oh get a sense of humour! This perpetual political correctness nonsense is such bull.

  • lebogang.molefo - 2012-08-14 10:50

    How is being called a coconut racist? Black people call each other coconuts are they racist? Hai man we should stop making mountains over mole hills

  • may.bee.988 - 2012-08-14 10:52

    See the lighter side of life.Stellenberg is a great school with respect for all.

  • Commentator - 2012-08-14 11:07

    I was in Stellenberg and we launched the first awards in my std 9 year (now grade 11) We had awards like tuck shop terror and I think all of this is tongue in cheek. The guy that won the award for being absent most days was absent on the award day as well (he was absent something like 140 days in matric) Yes, there is some taunting / social bullying, but that is part of high school, better get used to it.

      oom.koos.7 - 2012-08-14 13:23

      Dont even try...the CHIP is working for them...

  • laura.ungerer - 2012-08-14 11:07

    Wow, I was a pupil at Stellenberg High School and the Stellies Star Awards were always a fun night which everyone looks forward to every year. Its funny and its a joke, point.

  • drishworth - 2012-08-14 11:11

    WTF................... this parent is a narrow minded, ultra-sensitive person who is obviously transferring a chip on it's shoulder to the next generation - get over yourself. I have no idea why the article says that the term 'Coconut' is derogatory - in fact, it's a term many Black people use themselves in a light hearted way. It is people like you who are perpetuating resentment and hatred by making making mountains out of mole hills. I'd like to think that most open minded Black, White and Coloued people would rather you devoted their energy into more serious issues like rape, murder, drug abuse - none of which, I'm sure, is as a result of a child being given a 'Coconut' or similar award at school.

      oom.koos.7 - 2012-08-14 13:24

      Wys hom a toffee...

  • elmaure.labuschagne - 2012-08-14 11:13

    I agree with the parent of this child. Why must differences always be highlighted?

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-14 11:32

      The one who is looking for the difference is the mother you refered to and yourself. How do you know that those doing the nominating are white? Maybe the kids who are doing the nominating are black. Would that appease your conscience?

      Koos - 2012-08-14 12:01

      @elmaure.labuschagne : Why should differences be ignored? Why should differences be hidden away? Isn’t differences what makes you, you. If you are offended by your own differences isn’t that a shortcoming of yourself? Isn’t the problem then with you yourself? So the question is why aren’t you happy with yourself?

      arne.verhoef - 2012-08-14 19:51

      OK lady, lets all just live in a homogenised, watered down society.

  • Dipzen - 2012-08-14 11:15

    Lol dark knight award? Hahaha wish we had that at our school

  • Dipzen - 2012-08-14 11:15

    Lol dark knight award? Hahaha wish we had that at our school

  • Dipzen - 2012-08-14 11:15

    Lol dark knight award? Hahaha wish we had that at our school

  • cordeliah.lethabo - 2012-08-14 11:17

    Wow this is interesting am just wondering what kind of award would zuma get n also malema hahahahaaaaa

      oom.koos.7 - 2012-08-14 13:26

      Did they go to school...??

  • lester.nel - 2012-08-14 11:23


  • ilona.davids.5 - 2012-08-14 11:28


  • vicki.vanrooyen - 2012-08-14 11:29

    I think they should hand out rewards like this to people in parliament.... quite fitting I'd say...

      Koos - 2012-08-14 11:34

      That would be... politically incorrect.

  • karien.louw.5 - 2012-08-14 11:48

    I was in that school and none of the kids back then felt offended to get a reward. Some parents can really take the fun out of school!

  • roma.arends - 2012-08-14 11:53

    why should people make such a big thing out of nothing coconut just mean use you head use your coconut.

  • albertus.ziervogel - 2012-08-14 11:54

    Political Correctness Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

      Koos - 2012-08-14 12:13

      So true.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-14 15:04


  • carolina.j.wallace - 2012-08-14 11:58

    They should take the block of wood of their shoulders and take it as a fun event by the pupils for the pupils.Something like the razzle awards they have in hollywood.People should learn to have fun and not attach politics or make everything into a race issue.If more people learn to laugh the world would be a much better place.

      Koos - 2012-08-14 12:30

      Please don't say "block of wood".

  • ndgallie - 2012-08-14 12:02

    As an old Stellie, I find this article totally unnecessary. The school is such a diverse group of kids filled with amazing school spirit and pride, and are comfortable enough with each other to be able to have fun and tease each other, like any friends would do, regardless of their race. "It's only racism if it comes from a hateful place." These awards are also not supposed to be taken seriously, as some of the other awards are things like "love triangle of the year" "jock of the year" "person who wears the most make up" "cutest couple" etc etc. These kids are setting an example to the rest of us - they have totally embraced each other for what they are. The unhappy parent is a perfect example of someone who is narrow-minded and not willing to move forward in the direction this country needs to go. Go Stellies!

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-08-14 12:29

    Settlers go home now! Only a bit of fun of course don't be offended.

      Koos - 2012-08-14 12:36

      That an award? Never heard of it before. Not offended at all.

      njdejager - 2012-08-14 12:39

      Also not offended. I like to remember my past not erase it. On my way home now lol

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-14 12:50

      I nominate myself for the "most likely to go home" award.

      vaaldonkie.visagie - 2012-11-06 08:59

      I sent all my kids to Settler's High ;)

  • Koos - 2012-08-14 12:37

    Man I LOVE the jokes section of News24. So much fun!

  • kgomotso.letloenyane - 2012-08-14 12:48

    As an organiser and a presenter of stellie stars, Mind you I'm black. I can firmly say NONE of the \black\ children took offence to the awards, cause let's be realistic,being coconut isn't a negative thing, being a shade darker is not a racist thing . \r\n\r\nThe parents who were there, know that we had a successful evening, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. No tears, but cheering. \r\n\r\nLike I said, I'm black and I found NOTHING wrong with any of the awards, every nominee accepted the award gracefully.

      brett.bruce.121 - 2012-08-14 13:05

      Ronald Mamola should have won the Dark Knight award. Im not sure he went to school though...

      kgomotso.letloenyane - 2012-08-14 13:09

      Haha that's funny hey?\r\nGot more of those...\r\n\r\nWe comfortable with Race, but it's people like you who want to point race out, where it's not Due.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-14 15:00

      Five stars to you Kgomotso. Excellent. We live in a society that takes itself far too serious. We all (black and white) consider ourselves soooo important.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-08-14 17:20

      That's exactly what I see where I lecture. The students don't see colour, they see people. It is so obvious that you guys (younger people) are so much more mature than the average adult when it comes to just being yourselves.

  • somikazi.pita - 2012-08-14 13:12

    Some people are just too sensitive!

  • philip.venter.750 - 2012-08-14 13:48

    Really??? Shane ... welcome to the real world ... see it as fun, not an attack on a person. The kid probably got the award for "Village Idiot"

  • Amanda - 2012-08-14 14:01

    Ok. I always wanted to know what a Coconut was. Thanks for the enlightenment!

  • ndgallie - 2012-08-14 15:00

    The irony of this situation is NOW that poor child will be the subject of negative attention because of what the ignorant mother did. An \unnamed\ parent is not exactly effective since they disclosed what the award was.

  • matthew.davidse - 2012-08-14 15:09

    This whole topic is totally blown out of proportion by a narrow minded (frankly bored) mother who has nothing else to do but turn what was meant to be simple fun at school into racist accusations. I'm a pupil at Stellenberg and the award winners and everyone else took it simply as a joke, seriously lady get a sense of humour!

  • dylan.mccallum.5 - 2012-08-14 15:17

    As a learner of Stellenberg High School and as a member of the committee that worked on the awards I find this shocking and unnecessary to take this to the media. If the mother had a problem with the awards why not address it to the school. We must let the past stay in the past and not let it uproot the present of the new South Africa.

      darryl.maze1 - 2012-08-14 15:41

      @dylan. Its just some sad pathetic mother that has got nothing else better to do and seeking for attention. It's pathetic how low she will stoop to get attention. Alot of schools have these awards but as usual you get someone still living in the past and turn it into a racial issue.

      dylan.mccallum.5 - 2012-08-14 16:27

      @darryl\r\nThanks for the support!

  • reggy.ridgard - 2012-08-14 15:26

    The new generation of South Africa does not have time for stories like these that insite hate and confusion to an event that was supposed to be fun and entertaining. Rumours like these that are started by bored housewifes who live their lives through their children should not be acknowledge as much as this one has. On the day that the different awards were confirmed (by a multicultural group) in a grade 11 Grade head period, no objections were given towards the awards being racist or offensive. This in turn leads me to believe that the child mentioned in the story has no knowledge of his parent's actions. As for those who received the awards that the ,unknown mother finds offensive,they received it with a smile on their faces so I don't understand why it should be offensive.

  • larnellelauren.maree - 2012-08-14 15:28

    Lady who ever are I hope ur reading this. You are absolutely pathetic. You live in the past and if u say that our awards are racist or whatever u are the racist one. Get your head out of the clouds and deal with it. Stellenberg High does not have racial issues and none of the award winners were offended at all. This parent and her child had nothing to do with the Stellie Star awards so why did she even open her mouth. I'm truely disgusted by her.

  • wvwfs - 2012-08-14 15:34

    Ok guys I actually went to that school and the whole award ceremony is a joke, there others like biggest Jock, Air head, cradle snatcher, Biggest "poppie" and they even have a slim shady award for a white guy acting gangsta. Students nominate the candidates and then vote for them. It is hilarious and funny, especially if you know the people in question, and never once before has anybody complained or taken it to seriously. I think when I was there they hada trevor Noah award for the funniest albino as well.

  • Daniel2096 - 2012-08-14 16:29

    Stellenberg highschool is a school filled with pupils who have alot of respect for one another. We respect each other for who we are. These awards are known as a tradition of stellenberg highschool for entertainment. If any pupil does not aprove of an award which he/she is nominated for then that person should talk to the organisers about it before the event takes place. Stellenberg is not a racist school it is a school with great academic and sport achievements and a school where students have a great amount of respect and love for one another

  • luyolo.c.nqakula - 2012-08-14 16:30

    Where is the Dutchman and Rooinek of the year award?

  • kgomotso.letloenyane - 2012-08-14 16:35

    Shame lady...\r\nHope you achieved what you wanted.\r\nIt's people like you who go out looking for every wrong in a right. Why stir up conflict in a school where racism doesn't exist?\r\nWhy are you complaining when the people who won the awards are content with them?? How does it offend you , when the Dark Knight-Ambeso - appreciates his award. Just shows us-school children- that people who do such are cowards, because you chose you to remain anonymous, yet you got the courage to drag our school in the mud. The school would've handed it way better, if indeed they or Ambeso felt that if the award or stellie Stars was a hate's tradition, and it won't stop because you blew it out of proportion.

      neil.gouws.5 - 2012-08-14 17:04

      I agree with you, what was planned as and was a night of fun with no racial intent, turned into a mud slinging scheme that has undermined the great name of Stellenberg High School. This article has labeled Stellenberg as racist. Why did the lady who complained not speak to Mr. Boonzaaier, our principle before running of to the media?

  • itse.nnete.1 - 2012-08-14 17:15

    I would have loved to go to a school like this,a sense of humour adds warmth.Parent don't be so uptight!

  • demi.mcmillan - 2012-08-14 17:16

    What exactly have you gained by complaining to the media about this issue? None of this was meant in a racist way, and you seeing the racist side to it all shows you're still living in the past. This evening is mainly meant for the learners still in high school. You're a coward by staying anonymous and running to the first journalist to publish this "scandal". You tried to give Stellenberg High a bad name but you didn't succeed. Sorry, maybe next time auntie

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-08-14 17:35

    Wow. For the first time people on N24 are actually seeing the intended humour behind something of this nature. Big up's dudes!

  • charmaine.paterson1 - 2012-08-14 18:02

    Way to go Stellenberg! Some of the most mature comments I have ever read on News 24 and that from High school pupils. Spelling and grammar are also way above par. News 24, shame on you, you should hire a reporter to interview people and establish the facts before publishing one mommy's whine.

  • latoya.mccallum.5 - 2012-08-14 18:47

    This story annoys me. I am proud to say I am from Stellenberg. A racist allegation is something not taken lightly in this country and this parent knew it would cause such unnecessary drama. I cannot understand why this parent did not approach the school directly if they had a problem with this category? I'm sure that Mr Boonzaaier would've had dealt with this in a proper way but instead it was completely blown out of proportion. He's not the kind of principal to tolerate racist behaviour from his learners. The awards is a tradition which all students look forward to and have always been so much fun and provides great entertainment. No one ever took things personally. And why does this parent have a problem with the award? It's not like her child won it. Thanks to UNAMED parent the awards will no longer be fun.

  • freyja.ellison - 2012-08-14 18:49

    Go stellies!! Dear miserable parent, step out of your box and stop living in the past.. This is a new generation, we do not see these awards as racist or mean, we do not laugh at the person who recieves the award but with the person. Get over yourself and see that no harm was done, so why get involved where it doesn't concern you?

  • Richard - 2012-08-14 19:02

    Why do they always have to play the "Race" card? The kid's had fun and the money goes towards a good cause. I, being a parent myself, find that this sort of tongue in cheek humor is good for the school, and if anything, brings the kids closer, builds character and makes them stronger for what lays ahead, LIFE. So get off your high horse, go out and get a life! Because life is to short to waste it on petty issues... Or did your kid win one of the other awards not mentioned here?

  • edward.mccullum - 2012-08-14 19:51

    Well done on Stellies in giving this award. I am sure the person that got this award will appreciate it. In naming this award the "coconut award" has nothing to do with racism, but just an expression that the pupils understand, a micro-society within a macro-society, that we as adults,not always understand. My twins are "coloured" and go to this school.As a "coconut" I fully support this educational debate. We hang the labels and not the school! The pupils were fully consulted in the awards process, all of the, black, white, coloured, and all the colours in between. You should stop being colour "bewus" as you were when your child at this school enrolled. At R1500.00 per month, you were interested in academic results, and you will get it. Let your child speak his/her mind, and not you. He/she is probably disgusted at you in posting this non-nonsensical remark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • edward.mccullum - 2012-08-14 19:57

    You are a COCONUT yourself in sending your child to that school! Now Live with it!!!!!!