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3 Misconceptions About Kasi Girls

Time to clear the air

BY Stephanie Kapfunde

Mar 17, 2021, 03:44 PM

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Never mind that using a woman's background to gauge or rubber stamp how she'll behave is simply unfair, it's also pretty classist. 

It's hard not to chuckle in disbelief at Urban Dictionary's definition of Kasi and how it relates it to women. From the attribution of the South African slang word for Ghetto to women who are great in bed to golddiggers who spend more than they earn. It's plain rude, to be honest.

No, I'm not a Kasi girl but some of my closest friends are from e-Kasi. LOL. On the real, I was raised by a guy and girl who were born and bred eKasi and made their way out. 70% of my family are from eKasi and a good number of friends, workmates, mentees have helped me grasp the Kasi life and ideology. This has helped me juxtapose matters of privilege, culture biting and classism from an interesting angle. What often cheeses me off are assumptions about women in general more so those that share an attribute with uMama-wami because yes, U-vel'eKasi. Here are some silly and lazy stereotypes about women from the Kasi dispelled, enjoy. 

Asiphaphi 

Loosely translated to "we aren't all ratchet". Women from the hood seem to always get a bad rep for being loud, obnoxious and uncultured. Now, I'm not saying there aren't women who are this way, generally, I just can't help but wonder why we would allow ourselves to help peddle a not only ghetto but Black woman stereotype that shuts us all up and out. My niece Mandisa grew up eKasi and told me the horror of joining a new work team in the burbs. Her then lady-superior announced rather obnoxiously if I should say so, "this is Mandisa, she's from e-Kasi; lapha Mandisa asiphaphi, leave you Kasi-ness at home!"
Now if you all met Mandisa you'd need a reserve of patience as you attempt to coax audible dialogue. She is a smart, confident young woman who listens more than she speaks. I couldn't imagine what I would have done in her shoes. Sadly many women in this position have numbed themselves to these utterances.
"It used to hurt me because I'm not like that, not everyone from the ghetto does that. Now I just don't take it personally" - Mandisa (24 years-old)

We Aren't Backward 

Remember any time you're about to hop-onto some urban wear trend, chances are it was Kasi first. From streetwear to trendy township aesthetics; girls from the ghetto have set trends they've never been given credit for and it's not just on the continent. Conversations in the USA have been rife over Black Culture how it's branded  Ghetto until it becomes a profitably appropriated fad. 
"Ghetto is nothing but creativity that hasn’t been stolen yet" - Nezariel Scott
The stereotype isn't just about fashion and beauty though. Some assume Kasi Girls are culturally regressive. Take Ntando for example. A thirty-year-old something gent who grew up eKasi. Despite this, all he ever wanted was to date an uptown girl because for some reason he thought the Kasi Girls were slow. From grooming to the intellect, he was convicted. Never mind the fact that he didn't give Kasi Girls much of a chance. It took dating around more (and growing up) for the brotherman to be delivert.
"I know better now, I was wrong, I was taught wrong, no one woman is the same"

We Aren't All Magical Sex Unicorns 

Very few are immune to this one. I too have bombarded my cousins with questions about how to make things a little more exciting in bed, ehem, for the future. Often I have envied how liberated and informed they are about rites and how they know that aunty down the road who'll teach you how to twerk meticulously on your back. But, it goes a little deeper, pun, not in the least intended. Stories of married big-wigs driving from Fourways to Alexandra to get a taste of that ghetto good-good confirms how fetishized Kasi women are. The objectification is off the charts like that's all they are good for, not cool and definitely out of order! On the other end of the equation, suburban wives head to the Kasi to see the aunty so they can bring the unicorn-like Kasi sex appeal into their bedrooms. #Wild.

Now that we know there's no Kasi-diploma in bedroom bullying for Women, see how problematic this stereotype is? The saddest part is this is not an exhaustive list of harmful, classist tripes about women who grew up in the townships. I hope you're as glad as I am that we've started this conversation because all we can do is try right?!

Read: The Misadventures Of The Fat Black Woman