The publication of Lerato Tshabalala’s book, The Way I See It. The Musings of a Black Woman in the Rainbow Nation. (Penguin), earlier this month has caused a massive backlash against the author. Singer, Simphiwe Dana, has said even though she only buys books by black South African authors, she won’t buy this book. Part of the controversy was sparked by the publication of an extract of the book in the Sunday Times, in which Tshabalala says she’d rather employ blue eyes than black guys. She’s been accused of throwing her people under the bus, of undermining rather than empowering.
The book is a series of essays on various topics including dating, sex, friendship, race, beauty, and the air conditioning remote.
We asked Lerato whether the backlash took her by surprise, and whether she’s been misunderstood.
This interview was first played on PowerFM on 24 July 2016.