Click on the highlighted text above to access a chart which breaks down the over 150 ancestral origins of people classified Coloured and also illustrates that almost 73% of these tributaries are African. Between 1904 and 1911 in an act of de-Africanisation a census committee created a new use of the term Coloured and decided who all would be placed under the umbrella term. This act is known as forced assimilation. After the Second World War in defining Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, it was agreed that forced assimilation of peoples was a crime against humanity. Apartheid was also later classed as a Crime Against Humanity by the International Criminal Court.
Coloured race classification though repealed in 1990 has found itself into two post-Apartheid pieces of legislation and it is still used frequently in practice by the post-Apartheid government. Shamefully for government Courts have also found government guilty of marginalization and discrimination on the basis of using Coloured race-classification. There is no justification for continuing the colonial and Apartheid practice of de-Africanisation of Coloured people.
There is nothing in law that forces us to use the term Coloured. Self-determination of how you wish others to recognise your culture as an African by ancestral birthright is protected in international law and Constitutionally.
The state now thankfully has restored the rights of the San peoples’ and the Khoi people’s (Nama, Korana, Griqua and Cape Khoi) as African peoples who were stripped of their ancestral birthrights as Africans in 1911.
Many more people were also de-Africanised in 1911 and want their African heritage restored as African people of Camissa or African-Creole cultural heritage. While there are some who do not mind the term Coloured and self-identify as such, there are many who do not want to be called Coloured and prefer to self-identify their sub-cultures in different and more positive ways. But the starting point is for the State to first recognise that what happened in 1911 was an act of de-Africanisation and to restore our African-ness. We are African Conscious just as much as other African brothers and sisters – Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Pedi, Tswana, Venda, Shangaan, Ndebele, Swazi, Tsonga, Griqua, Nama, Korana, San, Cape Khoi. Our African sub-culture has multiple tributaries which define as African-Creole or Camissa and we have a proud history of surviving crimes against humanity such as colonial disposession, ethnocide, genocide, slavery, de-Africanisation and Apartheid. In this cricible of criminal acts against our forebears they stood up for themselves and though constantly brutalised they rose above this adversity. We have learnt their stories and learnt about their many cultural threads and are proud of our heritage – not in a narrow chauvinistic manner – but nonetheless proud of the lessons for all humankind therein.
It is high time that government stops colourism and racist classifications. Stop pouring new wine into old wine-skins. Restore our African identity, restore our sub-cultures just as that of the Khoi and San have had their dignity rightfully restored. We too have indigenous African bloodlines of many African peoples in us. We can show that almost 73% of our ancestry is African, and we also have Asian and some European roots too. These cannot be unraveled. Restore our dignity.
Os is! We are! Camissa! An African-Creole people. Proudly African and Proudly South African.
The chart is there to see our roots in full. We cannot chop part of ourselves off and still be authentic. We are! And our fellow countrymen and women should accept us for what we are even as we accept all others for who they. We celebrate all our diverse cultures in South Africa for indeed they can all be found within us! Os is! Is ja!