Slice Of Life: The good enough in-betweener
I recently restarted doing reiki. With reiki, it heals whatever in your life needs healing. And it seems as though this time around it’s about me letting go of emotional baggage I’ve been holding onto from the past, because one day, I was washing the dishes and just started crying. I didn’t know why I was crying. I was trying to figure it out, when an image came into my mind: I saw myself as a child, running away from these girls who used to pull my hair. They didn’t like me, but liked my hair, so they were trying to pull the hair off my head.
I didn’t think of it as a racial thing at first, but in my little memory, it was the first time I had experienced someone not liking me for the way I look.
I had never experienced hatred like that again. Not like that. Even though I’d experienced similar things from the Indian community, it was never as intense. To those girls, I simply wasn’t Mosotho enough for them.
So I never really felt like I belonged to either: black or Indian.
I was almost not good enough to be black or Indian.
So, as an interracial child, I decided that, because I am made up of two races, I will be neither; I’ll just be myself.
It has been tough – all of this ‘not good enough’ stuff – but it has strengthened me. The thing is, though: you kind of have to go through all of that ‘not good enough’ stuff to realise that, “wait a minute, I am actually not defined by race; I am good enough. And I am good enough because I am me.”
Shizeeda Osman, 41, as told to Carl Collison, the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail&Guardian