When things get too rough for her black persona, she can simply go back to being herself for the ‘benefits’ that come with being white, her critics say.
Anita Ronge, popularly known as Kasi Mlungu or DJ DuchAz, has drawn flak from some who have accused her of “cultural appropriation”.
Mostly, though, she just divides opinion.
The House DJ, who has been in the industry for years now, landed herself on the Twitter trends list after a few tweets and interviews in which she said she was proud of being a ‘kasi mlungu’.
“I get rejected for not being ‘black enough’ and being ‘too black’ to be white … I’m #KasiMlungu and I’m proud,” she recently said on Twitter, with a picture of herself holding a grass broom.
Her comment received criticism from some who told her to be relevant without the “cultural appropriation and racist gimmicks for publicity”.
“White people steal our land then steal our culture, because poverty and disenfranchisement looks glamorous to them nxa niyadika man tsek,” said another, who got support from those who said Ronge was using blackness as an experiment. When the experiment fails, she will simply go back to her white self and continue to prosper as she has never received hate for being white.”
Some responded with questions, testing her knowledge of black culture.
“What does ‘Black Mampatile’ mean and when is it said?” asked one.
Ronge told 702 on Wednesday that she did not understand the criticism she has received for embracing African culture when they embrace Western culture all the time. “Why should we be defined by the colour of our skin. It’s such a stupid thing,” she said.
Though she has been accused of using her white privilege to advance her deejaying career, Ronge said she has worked hard for her career and does not get the privilege for being any skin colour.
“I have worked myself to death to get to the point where I am in my DJ career. It’s not because of anything but hard work. Everyone in the entertainment industry knows that. You need to put in the work for you to get the result.”
Listen to the full interview below:
In a recent interview with Sowetan, Ronge said she grew up with her mother, Annatjie, at their home in Kempton Park. Her love for black culture started at school after befriending black kids and falling in love with a black boy in high school.
She told the publication she had been subjected to a lot of hatred for being with a black boy in a school that was 80% white. The hatred, however, only gave her the courage to be open about her love for black culture, further revealing that she loves the ANC.
She has said in numerous interviews that she has a genuine love for the “kasi” lifestyle. She has been going to Thembisa for the past three years now,” eating kota and chilling with amajita”, a lifestyle her mother is now hooked on.
Shout out to the lady that gave birth to #KasiMlungu and is now hooked on kotas 😎 pic.twitter.com/jr9ApjDK8q— Kasi Mlungu (@TheDuchAz) February 13, 2017
I dont undrstnd y mlungus r so uncomfortable wit my presence. I cn jst laugh at ya’ll& Ngizozi munyela iICE yam #StopRacism #WCWKasiMlungu pic.twitter.com/oFzG1l3Ufg— Kasi Mlungu (@TheDuchAz) February 8, 2017
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” #KasiMlungu— Kasi Mlungu (@TheDuchAz) February 10, 2017
📷: @fizzdesigns pic.twitter.com/cGIIpDGjdW
Ronge, however, is not the only white person who has made headlines for “acting black”. Comedian, actor and presenter of Mi Kasi su Kasi Nicholas Richard Holmes Welch, popularly known as Pule, has admitted to being a “skhothane”. Though his parents had a house in Yeoville, he told Sowetan he had spent most of his time on Ndofaya, Soweto, while his parents joined marches against apartheid.
Pule said he did not get scorned by black people but has received stares in “high-class places” such as Rosebank and Sandton.
Most academics in the humanities maintain the position that race is something that gets “socially constructed” and is not dependent on biology.