The first live recording of The Cheeky Natives features Rosie Motene talking about her memoir ‘Reclaiming the Soil: A Black Girl’s Struggle to Find Her African Self’. This book tells the story of a young girl born to the Bafokeng nation during the apartheid era in South Africa. At the time, Rosie’s mother worked for a white Jewish family in Johannesburg who offered to raise her as their own. This generous gesture by the family created many opportunities for Rosie but also a trail of sacrifices for her parents. As she grew, Rosie struggled to find her true identity. She had access to the best of everything but as a black girl, she floundered without her own culture or language. This book describes Rosie’s journey through her fog of alienation to the belated dawning of her self-discovery as an African.
In this episode, The Cheeky Natives alongside Rosie Motene tackle the important themes that emerge from her book. The conversation covers intricate dimensions of interracial adoption, her time on Generations, the notions of family, the pervasiveness of whiteness, the exceptionalism of blackness, erasure of Blackwomxnhood, domestic abuse, family feuds, mental health and starting over and reuniting with her Black family.
This conversation reminds us that Black lives are not monolithic. Rosie through this conversation reminds us that Black womxn have a face, a voice and a history. She reminds us of the importance of writing as healing and the power of womxn taking up positions to fight the scourge of Gender-Based Violence. An intense conversation interspersed by light-hearted moments that give us hope for a better tomorrow.