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Mzansi X users school US trolls in debate over Tyla’s ethnicity

Mzansi has been educating Black Americans about what it means to be coloured. Picture: Instagram/@tyla

Mzansi has been educating Black Americans about what it means to be coloured. Picture: Instagram/@tyla

Published Nov 20, 2023


As the world continues to be enthralled by South African singer Tyla’s growing global success, an unintended consequence of this success is that she’s now scrutinised more closely than ever before.

Over the weekend, black Americans began to take to social media to express that they refused to refer to the ‘Water’ hitmaker as coloured because they viewed it as a racial slur due to the historical context of the word in the US.

Unimpressed by this stance, Mzansi X users has been taking black Americans to task for their views and their refusal to respect Tyla’s identifying as a coloured woman.

“If Tyla were to forcefully assign you a gender because she didn't resonate with queerness, it'd be an issue...but you're dismissing her existence and experience as a COLOURED woman because your little brain can't fathom the world not revolving around American politics,” commented @lwavezzz to a black American’s refusal to acknowledge Tyla’s ethnicity.

@naledimashishi added, “Every two business days Americans on this app argue that Meghan Markle isn’t a black woman because ‘the one drop rule’ but they want to fight tooth and nail to call Tyla, a Coloured woman with mixed ancestry who doesn’t even ID as black, a black person. Make it make sense.”

SA rapper and podcaster Zingah also weighed in. “Having a huge hit and breaking records is some amazing stuff. But causing this engagement between Americans n southahs is crazy 🔥 Tyla is booming.”

Unsurprisingly, Nota shared his two cents: “What Tyla is going to teach people that don’t know who & what they are is that there’s no such thing as black people.

“That’s why it’s ‘African’ American not anything else. South Africa doesn’t have blacks, we have Tsonga, Xhosa, Venda, Sotho, Khoi, San, Afrikaners & even a Pedi!”