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Colour Me Yellow by Thuli Nhlapo

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Thuli Nhlapo

C olour Me Yellow Searching For My Family Truth

Managing Director of her own media company, Thuli Nhlapo Media. She has previously worked for ABC News (USA), and SABC News as reporter and/or producer. She has also written for The Sowetan, Mail & Guardian and The Star.

„I hated being pregnant with you. I used to cry the whole day. I hated carrying you in my stomach.”

T huli Nhlapo grew up constantly hearing these words from her mother. She was seven years old when she realised that no one called her by name. Known as ‘Yellow’,she was bullied at home and school. Fearing that she had a terrible disease, she withdrew into herself. Years later, Thuli is still haunted by her childhood experiences.

Growing up, the “melanin glow” was overlooked. I remember ,skin colour having had an impact on whether you were beautiful or not? Colourism in the African community is very dominant because girls or boys with darker skin grew up being side-lined. With the influence of social media, others consider skin bleaching which is a very harsh practice. The impact of colourism has influenced how many young people perceive themselves.

Thuli Nhlapo shares her experience of being labelled as “Yellow” and facing rejection by her birth mother. She reflects on how she used to sit in the sun, so that the colour of her skin would turn darker. Whilst Thuli navigates her life wishing she were darker and pleading for acceptance. She finds herself questioning her sense of belonging. This discovery is motivated because not only is subjected to being labelled however, rejection and isolation are welcomed. Her quest to find her family truth is linked with her spiritual gift and identity.

This read is a reminder that the African community needs to unlearn the concept of “secrets”. The truth has a way of coming. The truth yields healing. A sincere, thought-provoking, and amazing read. I am waiting for book number two from Thuli Nhlapo.

„ To this day if I close my eyes I can still hear the loud laughter that followed from the crowd”

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