Monday, May 7, 2007

One Selohilwe

One Selohilwe
One Selohilwe hails from Botswana and is currently studying for her final year at undergraduate level majoring in Psychology and Sociology. She thinks Durban has an exciting cosmopolitan environment with a rich fusion of culture.

In her chapter, Being a young black woman from Botswana in Durban, One focuses on how coming from another country to pursue her studies in Durban caused her to reflect on constructions of ‘race’ and gender in South Africa. While looking forward to living in a place ‘rich in culture and diversity,’ she finds expectations about how she should behave as a black person quite limiting and alienating. For example, students and lecturers problematise her decision—as a black woman—to mixing with people from other ‘races’, especially males. One's piece provides an honest examination of dealing with foreign social & 'racial' expectations.

In their co-authored chapter, Two women researching (male) ‘gangsters’ in Newlands East, One and Subashini Govender interpret research interviews not as simple means or instruments for eliciting information but as social encounters in which relations are forged and identities performed. They focus on Carl, an ex-‘gangster’, examining not only what he said about being a gangster, but, also, the kinds of relations he established with them, the female student interviewers. In a group interview, Subashini and One were surprised at how normal these ‘guys’ were, but they also felt ‘uncomfortable’ because much of the men’s conversation revolved around women as sex objects. This collective performance of a particular kind of masculinity contributed to the sense of solidarity in the group, but made them (as women) feel marginalised and excluded.

Selohilwe, One. 'Being a young black woman from Botswana in Durban', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 82-84.

Govender, Subashini, and Selohilwe, One. 'Two women researching (male) ‘gangsters’ in Newlands East', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 279-290.