Are there any African Americans in this forum that Live in SA?

I am an African American. I would like to know how are other African Americans treated in SA. I know apartheid ended over 15 years ago. But how is the racial tension there? I hear there is a lot a tension from Blacks against whites. But does this really affect your day to day life. I've been looking at the tension with youth league group and the white supremacy that got killed. Is there a possible civil war building. I'm not trying to leave American to step into an all out race war. Don't get me wrong I do understand racism exists everywhere.
I have a friend that's an African American that visits cape town, port of Elizabeth and Joburg every 3 months for about a month at a time. He tells me its not bad. That he loves it there. He is from Detroit as well. He says there is crime but if I can make in Detroit I will be just fine in SA.

Also I would like to know how are African American received by Black SA. I don't plan on coming to SA to be the Ugly American.(rude, loud, arrogant, obnoxious and a know it all.)I coming to embrace the SA culture and help empower the SA people by helping where there is a need or a want for my assistance.

If you don't want to post on the forum. Please please drop me an email.

Hi, read your Q with interest, i am white, but a swiss citizen that live in south Africa, immigrated here in 2004 & am leaving asap.
Maybe you would be interested in the following:
-If you are wealthy & live in a nice hotel & interact with other 'upper' class persons, you will be fine & they will be most interested in your life back home.. (bet u none of them know anything about detroit), but be wary of letting them know that you want to work here... not going to be too happy about that.
- Are you aware that the african tribes ie. Zulu, Khosa, etc have serious intertribal problems & hate each other lots, ie. it is very difficult if not impossible to inter marry. just read our local newspaper (I live 70kms south of Durban in Kwa Zulu Natal, in a seaside resort town of Scottburgh with a lot of semi & very rural areas around)where a woman was raped because she was a khosa. they came to kill the husband.
Earlier last year there were multiple xenophobic attacks against other 'blacks' from other african countries, because they are taking away jobs from locals.
- the black/white situation is getting worse by the day, there is a lot of hate/jealousy going around. Somehow the average 'black' doesnt seem to think that they need to work to achieve something. Nelson Mandela promised everyone free housing, water & electricity, which of course doesnt work well for an economy, also there are 40million blacks that have no or little education.
No, being able to handle detroit & handeling africa are not the same, your average gangster(tzotzi) doesnt dress any different from all others, so cant be seen & live amoungst us, not in down town. Also poverty makes crime rife. the saddest thing about SA Crime is the violence that goes with it. No, you wont just get robbed but also rapped & killed. ie. 5 men raped a 7month old until it only had a gaping hole left(black). a 64 year old was robbed, rapped & had her eyes gourged out(black). a 30year old teacher was kidnapped & after being rapped for 12 hours by 4 men, was thrown off a highway bridge.(white). etc. etc... it is just so bad.
Most of our houses have huge fences, burglar guards on door & windows, alarm systems, armed responce units... etc.all cars have alarms or tracking devises
But dont get the wrong idea. you can walk down the road & go shopping, to the beach or club & you will be fine... lock your door when you drive..
hope this has helped or maybe not... in general the african persons are really nice & love to sing & dance & are also sick & tired of the 'sh..' going on.. if you want to know anything more or have a Q contact me... I will be frank & not tell any untrue horror stories

African Dream,

I am a 21-year-old Black woman from Chicago and I currently live Joburg. I find the reactions that I receive from Black South Africans more of fascination than offense.

I can give you my experience yesterday for instance. I went to a township in the East Rand for a soccer game. I found out that when I talked, people would have this intrigue. Since I have been here a month now, I have learned it is because my dark skin throws them off. They expect me to be one of them, but I am not exactly. I then get asked many questions about what America is like, how do I like it here in comparison to home or how interesting it is that we look so much alike but yet I am not from here. Two women even asked to take my picture because they said they wanted to show their friends that they met a Black American. Later in the day, a group 12-year-old girls heard my accent, tapped me on my shoulder and asked me about Beyonce. They then asked for my information because they wanted to be able to say they have an American friend that they can call lol.

But yeah - that is one experience. The other experience I am going to describe to you is the one I experienced in a Cape Town township. I felt like a walking museum exhibit.

I am the only Black person in my group of classmates, so whenever I walk around with them I stand out. When I was walking around, I noticed these women pointing at me. Next thing I know, I hear the word "Negro" intertwined in their non-English conversation when they are speaking to my tour guide. In English, my tour guide says "They want you to tell them about what it is like to be a Negro." I never get to explain what it is like. Instead, they ask me if Beyonce is a Negro too and that they have never seen "one" in person and they were excited the had seen "one."

Um.... I am not sure if they were pretending or not. I told my co-workers at work and they said they were just acting ignorant. But from the look of those women's faces, I don't think they were pretending. In additon, that situation happened twice that day. Who knows. If you have more questions - feel free : )


nia, are you at wits or uj?

i'm in cape town, but used to live in joburg a looooooooooong time ago. i'm not a big fan of joburg for weather and transport reasons, but socially it's pretty cool.

where in cape town did the negro thing happen? i'd tend to agree with your co-workers, unless the people doing the talking weren't south african. i've found that capetonians [of all races] are only "african" when it suits them and are so caught up in europe or america that's annoying at times.

have you noticed that they rarely bleep n**g* out on south african radio or television? it still catches me off guard, and i've been here for five years.

i'm tempted to write a page called "stuff amakwerekwere like" or "stuff amakwerekwere talk about when abantu kwamzansi have left the room" [like, for example, "why can't people wear clothes that match?" or "why is everybody so short?"] ... i'm leaving the country for about a year, so i suppose i could write them in absentia to see if they will work lol.

on paper, i'm american, but most people think i'm nigerian until i open my mouth, and then they often think i'm from cameroon. even many west africans think so; it's a main reason i ended up learning yoruba while living in london.

while i'm sure most of what the swiss lady said is true, it happens in most countries with such skewed gini coefficients. [i used to live in brazil as well as the dominican republic.]

you can pretty much buy your way out of most of the crime merely by dint of your address. the greatest amount of crime most people i know have experienced is either a break-in while they were not at home or a stolen cellphone in a nightclub. that's it.

Wow it's amazing how differently we are percieved through the eyes of foreigners, i guess it happens in all countries. You guys already know how deverse this country is, sometimes its a pleasant thing other times not.

I am Mbali from Durban orginially and ive been resident in cape town for a long time, spent a large part of my life in London...and i love hip hop, R&B, Beyonce & Jay Z so i don't know if that's considered bieng obessessed with Europeans or americans..LOL or doubt this strongly thou.

The rest of the world has and continues to have a such a huge impact on South Africans, maybe its because half of our society was deleved into an identity crisis for so many years...that the after taste has somehow left permanent markings on large part of society.

Alot of the tribes here have inter-tribe issues...and i can safely say this as i sometimes feel like a foreigner in cape town..not to mention when i open my @nia i can full relate to what u exprienced....As you know no country is without its blemishes and more so us. The diversity we have is beautiful but its troublesome has well as certain cultures fail to undertstand the next.......We are still in that transition peroid & when stuff like "honeymooners are hijacked in CPT" happens it makes locals consider whether or not to immigrate..but there is a spirit to this place that cannot be found anywhere else and the education system-not public and hospital-not public or some of the best in the world...and for some of us it remains home no matter how far we run......

Itrust you are well.
In responds to your question, South Africa is a beautiful Country with lovely people'

Yes we do have our own problems like any other Country. Sadly though, the media has done a great job in tarnishing our image in an axagerated manner.
I am a South African living in Ireland and visit SA as often as I can. I am proud to say I would not trade my origin for anything.
I am currently planning  to come to the US for hols soon. I would love to meet Americans who are open minded, and who would love to visit SA for friendship.
That way we can both rely on each for advise and friendship.

You said to email you and the was no emailing adrs on site.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Stay Blessed

There are many African-Americans living in SA - many of whom are middle class and upper middleclass, who came to love the country.   Many of them have been here close to 20 years.  My family and I are here  and enjoying it.  There are parallels in terms of race relations with the US (but a few years ago) but South Africans (of all colors) really like Americans - and know what is presented on TV, movies and music.  I have found White South Africans treat African Americans significantly better than Black Africans, which is upsetting but also I think of it as the US in the 1970s in some ways.

in terms of how to help, that's a very challenging question - certainly you would want to line up some options before coming.

Good luck!

I think there is a privilege that comes with having an American passport, so I can say that can still work in your favor for the most part even in South Africa. You welcome to check, "blacks without borders" on YouTube to prove that point

This is the type of mentality that we SOUTH AFRICANS condem in the harshest of terms. Zulu/ Xhosa relations are not in such pandemic proportions as just as French/ Germany/ Italian/ Irish i.e. relations to name but a few. Stop with this nonsense of SOUTH AFRICA being a Gomorrah and Sodom, as if no country has its own challenges.

I am an African American living and working in JHB. What is it you are looking for?

Hi all, I am an African American female interested in moving to South Africa. For those of you who have made the move, how did you find employment/get permission to work in SA? (I know SA has a high unemployment rate and restrictions on foreigners working in the country)  What types of jobs are best suited or easier for expats to get?  Any tips or suggestions you can offer? Thanks!

Are you in the US now? If you where? I would like to network because I want to move to South Africa. I'm currently going to school in Hollywood. You can email me

Hi Detroit2SA,

Welcome on board.

Who are you referring to?



Young black american, moved to SA recently with family.

Welcome  :)  hope you are enjoying our  country. With regards to all of the aforementioned stuff.. yes every country has crime, politics issues and a bit of racism.  Having lived my entire life in South Africa I am pleased to say I have never been a victim of crime, not even once. I don't live in a house that has high fences and burglar bars. I have visited a few places outside of Africa and can honestly say there's no place like home. A young man in Manhattan once told me that Brooklyn isn't dangerous place to live but if you walk around flashing your gold and expensive electronic etc then you are asking to be mugged and I say the same about South Africa. If you walk around like a target then you will be targeted. I live in an area that a lot of people say is dangerous but I have never had anyone break into my house, neither have any of my neighbors. We haven't had any hi jacking in our area and my kids are safe to walk around in the neighborhood without anything happening to them. Most people are warm and friendly and yes we love American's :) I think a lot of people here use the "n" word like its something cool. Even us half breeds call each other this and bushman etc and are proud of it. In my 33 years of life I have never had a racist experience except that when I was younger (a teen) the white guys didn't date mixed girls and now they do. In all the countries I have visited I find the people here the friendliest. I think that the media sometimes makes things worst than they are. Hope I have not offended anyone with anything I have said.