‘I moved from an affluent suburb to the Cape Flats for love, and I’ve never been happier’

Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
  • I spent most of my younger years amongst predominantly wealthy suburbs such as Fourways, which allowed me to taste the privileged life.
  • Maybe I was even a bit sheltered but I've always been culturally captivated.
  • However, a year ago I moved to the Cape Flats to be with my partner, and I've never been happier.

Originally from an English and Afrikaans family, I am classified as a white South African. In 2019 I moved from Joburg to the Mother City for work and stayed in the northern suburbs of Cape Town.

Soon after that, I met my soulmate - a coloured man from the Cape Flats (Mitchells Plain, Tafelsig, to be exact). We met at work, where I least expected to meet someone.

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He struck at the perfect time, catching me totally off guard. As we warmed up to each other and slowly started sharing spaces, I was introduced to his community as he was to mine.

I've had to get used to the dogs and children running freely in the road and the demon of the Cape Flats - gang violence. Everywhere I go, I'm far more alert than I've ever had to be.

I've experienced gender-based violence and other crimes first hand, something that previously would have left me awfully traumatized. 

READ MORE: 11 ways to spot an emotionally unavailable partner and save yourself some heartache

On the other hand, while weaving through and adapting to the culture, I moved in with my partner a little over a year ago and still learn every day.

Instead of driving to a supermarket to pick up bread and milk, I now conveniently walk three houses down and grab what I need at half the price at the 'baai,' more commonly known as a spaza.

Every Sunday, I eat my body weight in 'Koeksisters,' which are the most decadent coconut coated donuts ever. In my time in the Plain, I've quickly put on 10kg from Cape Malay cuisine and other delicious foods. But funny enough, unlike my upbringing, the people around me seem to appreciate a curvy queen (not everyone, but I've produced this theory based on what I've experienced).  

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I've made friends three doors up and three doors down whom I visit a few times a week.

Lastly, the linguistics of the coloured community is ever so unique and complex. Some days I look into my partner's eyes with a blank look as I have no clue what he has just said to me. The dialect is infectious, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't adapted accordingly lately. 

Although I've had to face racist whites who shake their heads when we walk past in public, the warm fellowship and unity of coloured communities are irreplaceable.

I celebrate my wins and count my blessings every day. I'm happier than ever. 

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