I was born and raised in Tanzania. My family has lived there for five generations, and their proudest achievement is that none of them have married indigenous Tanzanians.
I'm often ashamed of their racist nature. It was customary to segregate us. For example, in our house, the servants had their own restroom (they weren't allowed to use ours), and I never questioned why.
On school trips, we always had separate rooms. Africans in one and Indian in the other. I remember one girl who was biracial (Indian and Black) asked us why we segregated. That’s when a light bulb went on inside me and snapped me out of what I was unconsciously doing and following.
Later, in my third year of high school, I had a huge crush on my classmate (who happened to be Black). Ntale was from the U.S., but we used to talk about everything under the sun. He was my best friend, and I fell in love with him. I never told him as I didn't dare to do so.
It was close to our final year in school; when his mom passed. Our whole class went to his house, and that was the first time I got to hug him. I didn't want to let go. I was naïve and told my mom about what happened. She forbade me ever to see him and threatened to take me out of school. That was the end of that relationship.
I look back on what could have been a great relationship that I never got the chance to explore. I still feel sad that I listened to my family and did not pursue him. I’m now 35 years of age and still unmarried,
When life returns to normal, I hope to meet someone and am open to whoever walks in my life whether they are Black, Brown, White, or anything in between.