Thursday, 06 August 2009 21:16

Fred Khumalo and thieving Coloureds Featured

Written by Kazoom
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So I was reading the Sunday Times this past Sunday (of course!) and I got to Fred Khumalo's weekly column. Now Fred is a very funny guy and occasionally he writes something really insightful.

Sunday was no different, in his article on ethnicity. He pokes fun at everyone and everything, and this time round his column centered around ethnic collective nouns. He had a collective noun for just about every ethnic group, based on the stereotypes held on each group.

Thus the collective noun for a group of Greeks, is a corner cafe of Greeks and a gathering of Nigerians, would be referred to as a convocation of Nigerians. To those who don't know, there are more professors per square meter in Nigeria, than any other country on the globe.

Now this is all tongue in cheek and light hearted stuff, which the Greeks and Nigerians can laugh at themselves. But when he thought of a collective noun for Coloureds, Fred Khumalo thought it good to provide context by means of a short story, which I've copied for your convenience.

"Which reminds me of this young man, Rashad is his name. He comes back from school and hardly touches his food. His mother notices, and asks him what’s wrong. The boy says: “Mommy, am I an Indian like you, or am I a coloured like daddy?” The mother pats him on his head and says, “Boy, you are only a human being!”

Dissatisfied, the boy waits until the father gets home. And then he confronts him: “Daddy, am I a coloured like you, am I an Indian like Mommy?”

“But son,” the father coos, “Why are you asking such a serious question?”

“You see, Daddy,” Rashad says , “the neighbours are selling a bicycle for R100. Now, I am wondering if I should go back there as an Indian and bargain with them and get the bicycle for R50. Or whether I should go there as a coloured — when they are asleep I steal the bicycle from the garage.”


Based on the above, what do you think the collective noun for Coloureds are.........you guessed it......."A gang of coloureds"!! But wait, there's more. Not content with the level of disdain such a label holds, he goes one better and comes up with an absolute gem....."a reformatory of coloureds".

Now that I could possibly overlook, as Fred pokes fun at everyone, although the labels he heaps on Coloured folk is loaded with racial inuendo. You see, when Fred refers to Zulus or Xhosas or Greeks, he uses capital letters. But when he refers to Coloureds, we are not afforded the same eminence, with the lower case 'C' being used.

Someone might say that I'm petty, but for a literary giant such as Fred, the devil lies in the detail.

You be the judge.