Monday, May 7, 2007

Serrenta Naidoo

Serrenta Naidoo
Serrenta Naidoo is a has lived in Durban all her life except for two years spent in England. She has just completed her Honours degree in Sociology and hopes to continue to Masters. Her areas of interest are children, especially their identity construction, and gender relations and identities in South Africa. She describes Durban as her heart, her soul and her home, so much so, she says, that she longed to be home for most of the time she was away overseas.

In her chapter, But, what will your children be?, Serrenta—a South African Indian woman—writes about family reactions to her relationship with a white Afrikaans-speaking man. She reveals how others express their concerns, often indirectly, and her strategies to deal with these. She sometimes asserts an attitude of indifference to her relatives, but the anger she expresses towards them hints at ambivalence. Similarly, Serrenta says that even though they ‘never had any negative experiences' publicly as a couple, ‘if people have an issue with us they stare, some quite unabashedly.’ She acknowledges the ‘relief’ she felt when living with her partner in London because they blended in and were inconspicuous. The ‘wonderful’ feeling of being ‘normal’ stood in contrast to the continued 'racial' segregation in Durban.

Naidoo, Serrenta. 'But, what will your children be?', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 102-107.