When Daniel, in the Bible, was captured by King Nebuchadnezzar, they made him eat their food, speak their language, follow their religion and gave him a local name – to disempower him. Like Daniel, I see no need to blend in: I love ‘braaivleis en pap met suiker’ (Namibia’s staple food), speaking Afrikaans (my mother tongue), living the family values I came here with (though some people may see my taking on domestic violence, legal abuse and dirty politics as ungodly) and using my real name (not Sue as many prefer to call me). I am not mono-cultural though, but very intercultural acknowledging the best and worst of all cultures. So many people say that they are not racist; however, look at the people sitting around your kitchen table and that will tell whether you are racist or not. I am of the opinion that I contribute to New Zealand by embracing my roots; not by abandoning them. Also, if one is unable to appreciate one’s shadow, how can one be a human being? I wanted to go on an overseas experience to Seoul and decided to sell a great piece of African art, an oil painting by Nyambega Ochieng from Kenya; fortunately, no New Zealand art shop or gallery was prepared to even try to sell it on my behalf. I now have it in storage for my children, along with a few antiques more than a century old, having been passed on to me through my bloodline - the items I packed when I fled the family home overnight never to be allowed again to return to pack the rest of my belongings of a lifetime. Though I do not understand much of rugby, I still have Namibia as my A team, the Springboks as my B team and the All Blacks as my C team; why do I have to cross over when rivalry makes the heart grow stronger. I played Netball at school and university and coached it when I was a teacher and later as a parent coach in New Zealand; now I enjoy cheering my daughter’s netball team on.
|SUSANNA SUSARA KRUGER||
Author, Speaker, Educator & Entrepreneur