1. “Bring me Mangoes or Avocado”
Guys, when we visit home during the holidays-we go to catch up with family and friends not for tropical fruits shopping. Don’t expect us to bring crates of fruits. Unless we offer to bring you Mangoes, the nagging should stop.
2. “Venda people are so dark!”
We are fully aware of how Melanin works. This is incredibly annoying to listen to-not only are we struggling with inferiority complex compared to other ethnicities but we got to fight this battle within our own racial group as well?. Its as if other cultural groups are the “better blacks”. Quite frankly I haven’t found any difference between blacks in Port Elizabeth and ones in Thohoyandou except geographic Locations
3. If you are Venda why are you light-skinned?
Remember that Mean girls movie where one girl asks Lindsay Lohan’s character “If you are from Africa, why are you white?”. ?. You have no right to ask Venda people with fair complexion why they are not dark like the others,neither is it kind to them when you keep saying “you don’t look Venda” like its a compliment! We are all black and black people have various complexions/skin tones.
4. “Teach me Venda”
Just staaap! Especially if its our first time meeting. The quickest way to learn Tshivenda is to live in Venda or around Vhavenda people. Unlike other Bantu languages in SA which are quick to grasp…….Luvenda is one tricky language to just teach someone,you need weeks of hearing words repeated,tones being changed and also….don’t attempt to learn to speak on an empty stomach
5. “Where is Vhafuwi Vho-Azwinndini?”
I don’t know how many times i’ve been asked this question like the dude is my close relative. I don’t go around asking Pedi people where Ntate John Maputla is. Whether this is meant as a joke or not…its exhausting to hear.
6. “Who is the chief in your village?”
Its not Chief Azwinndini i can tell you that for sure. I’ve included this question because a friend asked me this recently and i had no idea that the chief in my location has died few years ago—- Although there are well-known chiefs,in many areas in Venda chiefs no longer hold the same position of power and rule by divine right,many people have moved on.
SIDE NOTE: Venda is not all VILLAGE, VILLAGE, VILLAGE. There are different types of settlements.
7. “Mopani worms are gross”
Try cooking your friends Mopani worms to give them a taste of Limpopo cuisine, your gesture will mostly be rewarded with disgust.
I personally don’t like the worms because of thorns but i find it very disrespectful if someone shrugs and asks “ewww,why do you eat worms?”(or termites)
Usually people who say that eat Sushi(Raw fish). I try not to express disgust over other people’s cultural foods
8. “Why are you in (INSERT LOCATION-e.g DURBAN, PORT ELIZABETH, CAPE TOWN, BLOEMFONTEIN, etc) ?”
Call me HYPER-SENSITIVE but this question has got me almost bursting into tears a couple of times. I’d love to believe it comes from genuine curiosity of the person who asks why i choose to come study or work all the way leaving other places like Gauteng or Mpumalanga or even your own province for that matter.
To my overly sensitive Venda ears this question sounds like someone is saying “What are you doing in my province, didn’t nobody tell you to go elsewhere, seriously who keeps inviting Venda people to our cities?”……sounds Apartheidish doesn’t it?
Vhavenda are entitled to live in any part of the country as it is our democratic right of movement.
9. “I have a Venda friend named……Dakaro you know him?”
No i don’t know a Dakalo! Yes a lot of Vhavenda people know one other but it doesn’t mean i know the whole population of about 800 000+ people
10. Where in Venda are you from?
Like you know anywhere else in venda? Other than you have heard someone say they from Thohoyandou. Do you know Tshipise, Halambani, Guyuni, Gogogo, Dzamba? Thats where I’m from… When I say I’m from venda, I’m from venda. Unless you know these areas, stop asking this question.
*****Views expressed in this article are those of Rabs Vhafuwi
MrMo Madikoe Instead of fully embracing our unique cultural differences taking all of them respectively and collectively telling our unique stories to the world at large…We still find so much energy invested in making out other cultures to being inferior than thou…quite appalling actually…Such from one black child to another makes me want to puke…It’s utter regression from the so called “progress” our country at large has “supposedly” made…having said that…I personally love Venda from all dimensions, from landscapes, people, indigenousness, even the difficultness of the language itself is interesting etc etc…and I’ve definitely heard, i can say all the above mentioned points and more being asked to another person and I can overtly say that it’s really eyebrow raising and totally uncalled for but hopefully after reading this post the culprit/s will become more wary of the impact this actually has on the next person.