mlungu in Soweto

Janine Hobbs from Cotswold Gardens, an excellent 4 star guest house in Saxonwold , sent me this wonderful oh so South African story:

Janine writes:

Yesterday I took a trip to Nasrec to work out the exact kilometres from my place to Soccer City.  Well this mlungu [white person] took the wrong turn off and got so lost that I found myself on the highway to Soweto with no way of getting off!.  However, got to a traffic light and a cop car pulls up next to me so I ask for directions.  Next thing sirens blaring he takes me off the highway and on route to the stadium.    I now feel so confident that I wave goodbye to him and promptly turn left on a road to nowhere!  Next thing sirens blaring once again and there is my knight in shining armour – to cut a long story short it happened a third time and now I am so embarrassed I stop the car and we have a chat, me introducing myself as this “stupid white woman” and Prince (that’s his name) the charming cop laughing his head off at this says to me – don’t go anywhere just you stay right behind me and he takes me right to the front door of Fifa Headquarters, sirens blaring so loud they must have thought Manchester United was arriving!! 

Note: uMlungu is the froth that a wave makes in the sea when it breaks. This name was given to white people who were seen, metaphorically, to have emerged from the sea. The term has both highly negative connotations but can also be used more affectionately.

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