Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Tinashe Venge
2 minute read
19 Oct 2018
10:18 am

Tumi Morake claims that she was labelled a ‘sell-out’ for having white friends

Tinashe Venge

'When it came to race relations, black people accused me of being too friendly with the whites.'

Tumi Morake. Picture: Instagram

Tumi Morake’s book is shedding all kinds of light on the dynamics of both her life and career, but nobody ever expected to hear that she had trouble getting along with black people.

Tumi Morake is a woman of the people. She is a comedian who has broken gender and racial boundaries with her work over the years, but we were shocked to learn that there was a time when she was losing favour within the black community.

Excerpts from her new book, And Then Mama Said have emerged online and in one of these portions, Tumi reveals how even her family began to turn on her when they discovered she was working with white people.

Tumi, who has attempted to break barriers on radio stations such as Jacaranda FM and TV stations such as SABC 3 (which are not renowned for being black vernacular platforms) wrote in her book: When it came to race relations, black people accused me of being too friendly with the whites.

“My aunt even teased me once and said I was a ‘witbroodjie’ (slice of white bread) like my grandmother, who was always treated well by white people in the Free State when she was still a domestic worker. She was a cute, well-mannered woman who spoke fluent Afrikaans.

“My mom, too had been called witbroodjie for being a perceived favourite at home. How ironic, then that whites would find me too ‘Black Consciousness’. I did not fit in with anyone, so I carved myself a little niche where people who liked something different could enjoy me.

Tumi’s racial relations caused tension when she was accused of being a racist by some of her listeners on Jacaranda FM.

The complaints came about after Tumi compared the systemic disadvantages that black people were facing as a result of apartheid, to children sharing a bicycle when she said:

“It’s like a child whose bicycle was taken forcefully away from him and then you say to the bully, ‘no, no, no, share the bike together, don’t be like that’.”

At the time, this sparked a hashtag #TooFarTumi but the presenter and comedian was eventually exonerated of all charges.

Today, however, it feels as if Tumi has well and truly found her balance as an entertainer who appeals to people of all backgrounds.

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