SHULA MUKOKO’S 16 THINGS BLACK PEOPLE WISH THEY COULD EXPLAIN TO THEIR WHITE FRIENDS

I laughed so hard I sounded like Diane Keaton when she’s writing her play while sitting on the bed crying and laughing about Jack Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give.  This article, written by a blogger I did not know until today, Shula.Mukoko had like 122 comments on the site because there were probably so many other people who were astonished by just how accurate her 16 points were.  I think this is the best approach to race relations – humour and sharing information! Well done Shula. You have a new fan.  In terms of journalistic ethics, yeah I’m gonna go ahead and circumvent that whole thing…just cut and paste the entire article on the promise that there are more ”OMG yes” stories on her site for you guys to read. I really wish I would have thought of this. Death by Number 1, 2, 4 and 8.

Here is her article:

In the interests of promoting social understanding and togetherness, here’s a list of things that white people need to know about black people. Very importantly, not all black people are the same, so not all of these will apply equally. Lovely friends, here are 16 things that black people need to explain to their white friends:

1 ‘Bring and share’ parties are a white people thing.  If you’re going to organise a party then you should cater for it, it’s a basic principle of hospitality. The idea that I must cater for a party that you are hosting is completely foreign to me. Alas, because it’s your party, I will go with the flow and bring a pack of Doritos, the ones in a blue packet.

2 Underwear must be washed by hand, every day.  When you walk into my bathroom you will almost definitely find a few lacy numbers hanging on the rail. Don’t be alarmed. I was taught to wash my undies straight after a bath, you were taught to throw them in your laundry basket (it’s gross but I still love you).

3 Closed guest lists don’t mean a thang to us, if I hear about it, I’m there.  Birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries and funerals are free for all. Relatives, friends, enemies, neighbours, people passing by are all welcome! It’s not weird at all when there are random strangers appearing in our wedding videos, it is part of the territory. A closed guest list is a sure way to offend a black person.

4 The words “gap year” don’t exist in our vocabulary.  There is no scenario where the words “gap year” can feature positively in a conversation between a black person and their mother, father or relatives. Telling your parents that you’re doing a gap year is telling them that you want to be unemployed for the rest of your life, period.

5 Hair is a political issue.  White friend, I know you’ve never had to debate the question of natural hair versus relaxed hair with your white friends. You probably didn’t know the difference. The hair debate isn’t just a silly thing to us, it’s a serious issue. Just Google ‘black hair blogs’ and watch Good Hair.

6 Don’t look surprised, disappointed or whisper behind your hand when black people pile their plates high. Piling your plate high at an event is not gluttony, it’s wholly appropriate if the food is in abundance. We’re not being rude, we’re just being ourselves. Also, don’t laugh when we talk about taking leftovers home for breakfast tomorrow, we’re being serious.

7 Black people don’t do cats. Don’t ask them why because they’ll look at you cross-eyed. We’re okay with you having pet cats but please, please do not expect us to cuddle, kiss or love them. In fact, black people don’t really do pets at all, dogs belong outside and are there as a matter of necessity, there’s no love lost between me and Spotty.

8 Witchcraft is a big deal.  This is linked to the fact that black people don’t do cats. Witchcraft is real. As real as the fact that when a black woman is pregnant she doesn’t announce it and everyone around her knows not to ask when she’s due. It’s linked to the fear that she will be bewitched if she reveals that kind of information.

9 Looking at someone in the eye is rude. If I don’t look you in the eye, it’s because I’m showing your respect, not disrespect. Essentially, it’s the opposite of what you think. The younger generation of black folk don’t adhere to this rule much but older people think this is very important.

10 Black people can’t understand you any better when you talk in baby talk/ Chilapalapa.  ‘Chilapalapa’ is when white people speak an adulterated version of an African vernacular language. Baby talk is when you speak sl—ow–er and in a higher voice when you’re speaking to a black person that you think doesn’t have a full command of English. Condescending much.

11 Mimicry of ‘black accents’ is only funny when black people do it.  Just don’t.

12 The wages of disrespecting parents is death.  Relating to black parents is a delicate dance and every black child knows what lines not to cross. You never stand when you’re talking to your parents, you lower yourself. You don’t walk away from them, you wait to be dismissed. You don’t enter into a shouting match if you value your life.

13 When you visit our house you can’t sleep on my parents’ bed.  In fact, the whole bedroom is out of bounds.

14 It’s not okay to show up anywhere barefooted.  This includes church services, the supermarket, a job interview or my birthday party. Bare feet are only okay in the shower or when you’re swimming. No one wants to see your toes, even if they’re pretty or you have cute nail polish on.

15 My parents don’t know that I have a boyfriend and I intend on keeping it that way forever.  Black parents don’t have a relational category called ‘boyfriend’. If he’s not someone who’s ready to pay lobola then he doesn’t exist. They’re not interested in a Facebook relationship status that doesn’t involve a legally binding contract.

16 I’m an only child but I have many siblings.  Also, I have many mothers and fathers. What you call first, second and third cousins are just brothers and sisters to me. What you call extended family is just my family.

Follow her on Twitter @ooeygooey

// Comments (54)
  • nolu says:

    OMG this is so hilarious. #16 kills me. I mean really, what is a cousin brother. Lmao. Great article

  • Milli Bongela says:

    Lol we are the ONLY people in the world with ”Cousin Brothers” Lol! Miss you friend. Longtime! Going to Baysville this weekend.

  • Trish says:

    #12
    Sooooo true

  • Sue says:

    Haha on point!!!! Yes yes hair is a life issue period! Boyfriends only meet parents at fiance stage and yes my plate should always be full!!! Haha

  • Muntanga says:

    Brilliant article! Very funny but true

  • jethro sandile says:

    Great one send more plz,” like when theres death in the family we wait the whole weeek till the weekend to bearie the dead”

  • Honey says:

    that number 13 is even a thing that needs to be listed is horrifying. like hayini.

  • Juanne says:

    I asked the friend who posted this the same question: what are black folk doing to their underwear that it needs to be sterilized immediately?
    To which he replied: we wash our underwear ourselves. Not doing something gross.
    So I said: I do my own laundry, I’m still not understanding why I need to wash my underwear in the bath.

    Please educate me, this white boy is being really white #IdontUndersrand

  • BB says:

    #12 gotta be the funniest: “You don’t enter into a shouting match if you value your life”..one of the many options for committing suicide…lmao

  • Thandoe Snukie says:

    This is hilarious

  • Goddy Mwania says:

    wow! this is very true…. somethings white folks would never understand lol.

  • Lusanda says:

    15 lol Hope all white friends understand “black people dont have relational category called Boyfriend”Period!!Dear white friend next time you visit please no mentioning of Boyfriends unless we alone.

  • Thando says:

    LOL this is so true, all of it!! Nice one

  • WILLIE says:

    TELL EM….!!!!

  • katalinah abwooli says:

    hahaha #12 so true dont walk away when your parent is still talkin,wat is this NONSENSE that a child can sue their parent hahaha….u may lose ur word by the time u get to court

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAH number 15 “Black parents don’t have a relational category called ‘boyfriend’. If he’s not someone who’s ready to pay lobola then he doesn’t exist.” That awkward silence when your white friend talks about her boyfriend openly infront of your parents and the minute she tries to utter a word about you having one too – you’re kicking her under the table. My mouth just got sliced – I’m laughing so hard, uyicinge njani lento loan.

  • shivachi says:

    woooooow!!! interesting!!!! so true

  • Emil says:

    A++++++++++ for who so ever wrote this

  • Jackie says:

    Brilliant!!!!!!nuff said 🙂

  • Shula Mukoko says:

    Hi Miss Milli B! Thanks for featuring my post on your awesome blog. How can I even bring up journalistic ethics in the presence of such awesomeness 😉 Peeps go to this blog for the original post and other posts that I’ve written! http://realmukoko.wordpress.com/

  • Faith says:

    Lol!!

  • Guy says:

    Why do you want to lump all black people together? There’s more variety amongst us (in all aspects) than there’s variety in the human family. I get that this is meant to be humour, but you’re just creating your own set of stereotypes.

  • Ashley says:

    You really deserve an Award haha so true …told it like it is

  • Nina says:

    It’s cool that you credited the author for this post and my disclaimer is that I know neither you nor her but as a fellow blogger, it’s not really cool to not simply post her link above. Hits are important for some bloggers plus she also specifically eequests that nobody reblogs or copy pastes. http://realmukoko.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/16-things-black-people-wish-they-could-explain-to-their-white-friends/

  • Mati says:

    OMG, recently experienced 10 and went ballistic. Can’t believe people still do that!

  • Milli Bongela says:

    Hey Nina, oh I didn’t see that part where she says that otherwise I would have never done it. Thanks for pointing that out. I hear what you’re saying but I also introduced my readers to her because it’s more than just a link.

  • Aimee says:

    hahahahah this is the truth!!! no’s 1, 2 , 4 and 15!!!! hahahah.

  • Samantha says:

    Very good and even better as the cool, relaxed sassyness is definitely from Africa, not America. I may be white, but since living in RSA and Kenya – I also hand wash my lacy numbers, never did cats and definitely do believe in good and bad juju – plus it goes well with the Italian Catholic upbringing!!

  • Shiundu says:

    Elaborating the truth in funny way… Awesome article.

  • asanda says:

    just imagine the idea of your used nut sack container chillin there with your t-shirts, it is pretty nasty…

  • sly says:

    @guy, she did state in the beginning part of the article that all black people are the same. You have to admit, the article was on point. Good job Shula!

  • sly says:

    *correction* black people are NOT the same. Sorry bout the typo..

  • kenny says:

    All. Of. Them.
    Hilarious.

  • Siphesande says:

    Lol! I’ve had to explain number 16 my whole life! I always get the “but I thought you were an only child” stare when I say my bro this or my sis that

  • Lindiwe Hani says:

    Brilliant and quite a few new points from the norm!! death by numbers 7 and 10!!

  • ntha says:

    This is so funny,I’m just surprised how negative other people are,I mean offcuz because of our changing culture black people do things differently now,but a hand few,but we are just human we like it or not we will generalize and we should just have fun with this,,,,,,

  • Quentin Leeds says:

    And to think that we had a black couple housesit for us with 3 cats. I loved it and will try to remember them. It is a pity that white children have lost their manners and respect around parents.

  • Irie88 says:

    yhoooo this is onpoint…excellent Shula…

  • ishey says:

    Lmk that so crazy loved every bit of it. Would love to hear your take on is black people and swimming lol

  • Jezz says:

    Great read, thanks for remind us on who we are kahle kahle.

    Next time please tell our white friends that our languages dont separate a ‘he’ and a ‘she’

    Thanks once more…

  • manana says:

    #3 lol lol we show up uninvited and our presence is our present

  • Swazishona says:

    Oh ehm gee! #13, 14 & 15. I am going to print this and paste it in a wall at work. I just have to!!!

  • Jojo says:

    This is so so true!

  • Mawethu says:

    OMG, inlove with 16 like really my dads brother is my father of which his children are my brothers and sisters full stop.

  • khule says:

    Please add that we don’t watch TV during the time of death until the person is burried

  • Prince Themba says:

    Look at me in the eye and tell me this is not true… See black guys just looked away.

    Ok. Washing your undies after a week or so is like not flushing your toilet after doing number one because you might be doing number 2 soon

  • selina Nyirenda says:

    hahahahaha so true. you mention to your mother that you have a boyfriend might as well tie a rope around your neck. But i like the fact that we dont know cousins, uncles and aunties it keeps us the more together…. Oh and during a funeral all relatives cry even if you came laughing and smiling when u reach the funeral house you cry (screaming not sobbing)

  • Bob says:

    Witchcraft existed in Scotland 400 years ago too, but they got over it and then started to invent steam engines and build ships.

  • Milli Bongela says:

    So what is your point Bob?

  • Patience Sibuyi says:

    LOL HAHAHAHA OMG this is totally hilarious. Death by #11 and #16

  • Monica says:

    hahaha all this is soooo true. sharing reposting and definitely pinning a copy in my dorm

  • Thabo says:

    I don’t agree with this list. This is like stone age regulations. We Grow We learn We Evolve. #Fact.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *