White 4 Black
Originally written in English by Mongiwekhaya and translated into Jozified IsiXhosa by Tumeka Matintela. The language as it is used is an expression of the character’s need to show that she is still black while also attempting to appear cool and sufficiently Anglicised so as not to be seen as uncivilised.
Mshoza, based on the late Kwaito star and proud skin-lightening advocate of the same name, will not let anyone tell her that something is amiss with her obsession with bleaching her dark skin. When responding to the idea that she possibly hates her blackness she says “I’m freaking midnight! I just wanna be light-skinned. I don’t wanna change the inner me, I’m not white. I’m still black, my man is black, I like black, I’m for black. I’m white for black. I’m still me. It’s skin lightening. Not whitening.” She presents the bleaching process as very desirable and classy and refers to the concoction of chemicals used in the process as the “muthi of muthis” (The herb of herbs). She sees the lightening as a much needed enhancement, without which her value and confidence diminishes significantly. She will not allow anyone, not even a caring lover, to stand between her and the happiness that comes with being a little less darker than she was.