For a while I spent most of my time living with my maternal grandmother, so I was very close to her. And as I grew up, I realised that I was forgetting the Xhosa language. It’s not as respected as it should be, but the culture and the language are evolving. I can’t speak Xhosa or English fluently. But school encouraged me to speak English, and you were beaten if you didn’t! I was always the smallest in the classroom and liked being at the back. But I was scared of the woman teacher with her stick.
In Xhosa culture there are a lot of performances – colourful, elaborate, very gay. I grew up in the countryside, in a reserve to protect me, and there were ceremonies. I’m not religious at all, but that has influenced me a lot. Maybe I’m a bit nostalgic because I’m drifting away from my culture. But there’s an increasing atmosphere of tolerance in South Africa.
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