VOICES

Kasi Mlungu 'Loves Tembisa' But Doesn't Understand Cultural Appropriation

Kasi Mlungu isn't a thing. 😕

09/02/2017 09:30 SAST | Updated 15/02/2017 16:31 SAST
The DuchAz

Local DJ The DutchAz is giving black South Africans high blood pressure with her "take" on their culture. Read: Cultural appropriation.

The DJ, who hails from the East Rand and whose real name is Anita Ronge, has created her public image as a "kasi mlungu". 'Mlungu' refers to a white person and 'kasi' is a slang term for township. Her publicity shots portray her wearing traditional African wear or urban wear.

"African culture and African women are so amazing," Ronge told The Times last week. "They own who they are. You don't see that much of it with white women," she explained.

"Kasi Mlungu" trended on Twitter on Wednesday again amid a fresh wave of outrage over the artist, after she was interviewed by radio talkshow host Eusebius McKaiser.

In this interview she claims she does not have privilege despite being white. Ronge says she has worked hard for what she has. She also says black women wear weaves and they are not accused of appropriating western culture.

Twitter users mobbed her with a number of trivia questions testing her alleged "blackness" after she declared she was "a black person trapped in white skin". She tweeted: "I get rejected for not being black enough and being too black to be white. I'm a #KasiMlungu & proud".

"I don't understand why people are reacting this way. People are just uncomfortable ... I didn't grow up eKasi [in the township] but I hang around there, especially in Tembisa. I'm a kasi chick," she told The Times.

"If you can adopt Western culture, why can't I adopt African culture," she asked.

Where do we even begin?