Saturday, February 20, 2016

Different Is Not Stupid Or Ugly

Living in different neighborhoods according to our color, tribe, or economic status makes us distant from the ones not in our league.  We tend to think they are inferior, stupid or even ugly because they don’t have our dress, money or education.
I grew up in Johannesburg where clothing was western. In industrial Johannesburg, we lived with most South African tribes and we spoke most of their languages.  What I did not know is that people in the city came from the rural areas where people wore their tribal clothing all the time.  The tribal clothing in South Africa is very interesting because every tribe has their own tribal attire.  In the city, we referred to clothing by brand name.  Most European countries benefited from the lifestyle.  Girls, for instance, knew when the shoe brand Saxone, from Scotland, had arrived at the store and before the week was over, that very expensive shoe would have been sold out. With that kind of a lifestyle, you tend to think that you are better than the tribal people who only wore their tribal traditional dress.  Until my personal experience, I did not know that the tribal people also thought we were stupid and ugly because we did not dress like them.
My tribal education happened in the Cape, where I attended high school in rural Transkei. My friends and I from Johannesburg confronted tribal teenagers about their dress.   We questioned them about their bare backs especially about not wearing bras.  We thought they lived in the middle of nowhere where there were no foreigners and knew nothing about bras.  We simply asked them why they did not wear bras.  Their response taught us that living apart made people think the ones who were not like them were stupid and/or ugly.  The girls simply told us that we were brainwashed by foreigners who made us wear bras that made our breasts not look as youthful as theirs.  We were shocked that the uneducated rural girls thought they were better than us.
The girls’ response instilled a thirst to know more about the other tribes in South Africa.  Because of my thorough research, I was able to write Different is not stupid or ugly that could be downloaded at  
For soft or hard copies, please contact

Chuaro G. Zuzo - Author

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