San’bonani! Howdy folks!
We’re Dan and Sindiso Mnisi Weeks. Welcome to our blog.
For the handful of you out there who haven’t been (op)pressed into reading our blog because you’re related to us or a friend, here’s a bit of our backstory…
We come from rural New Hampshire, USA (1% black) and urban South Africa (9% white), respectively. We have been fortunate to call both countries – with all their marvellous messiness – home. Unlikely as our marriage was, we’d like to pay our respects to our matchmakers: Uncle Cecil and Secretary George, who unwittingly brought us together. These two deceased old men (the one a plundering segregationist) who paid our way to Oxford would be baffled by our union. It still perplexes many, even us sometimes …
Hence, this blog.
Dan: I’m the very white guy with the very big grin – until I’ve spent seven minutes in the South African sun and start to resemble a New England lobster. I come from the loveliest little town you never knew called Temple, New Hampshire. It was there that I learned the fine arts of milking cows, mucking stalls, and playing ball. It was there that I did not encounter the mysterious thing called melanin. I like education, democracy, taking photos, and …
Sindiso: The black woman in the picture is obviously me – and I would never pose for a picture like that in my right mind (my husband made me do it! :). I hail from, as some of Dan’s countrymen and women know it, “the country of Africa” – the comparatively wealthy city in the southern part of this fine but complicated continent, Johannesburg. I care about justice and education and can hold a note ok, I suppose.
When not posing for silly pics, we tend to be serious about faith, reading (some recent recs below), and service. Not to mention our own rather peculiar inter-racial marriage and identities, as this blog seeks to unpack…
Our story in brief:
Jun ’07 Dan accidentally tells stranger in DC, “You’re beautiful”, determines he’s met his mate. Said stranger thinks to herself, “He’s creepy!”
Oct ’07 Still-a-stranger Sindiso accidentally bumps into bike-spandexed Dan in Oxford, gets asked to lunch.
Nov ’07 Dan finally manages to introduce Sindiso to New Hampshire Maple Syrup; Sindiso decides they’re a match made in heaven.
Dec ’08 Sindiso survives first New Hampshire snow, worries many more to come
Mar ’09 Dan saves Sindiso from gecko in South Africa; avoids getting thrown out by her parents
Oct ’09 Sindiso says ‘Yes!’ in Oxford, makes Dan happiest chump alive
Oct ’09 Dan starts collecting a dozen cows for the lobolo [bridewealth/dowry]
Aug ’10 Dan’s family crosses the pond with 13 ‘cows’ to make it official in Joburg (and again in Cape Town, and again in New Hampshire…)
Sep ’10 Sindiso and Dan retire from getting married, praise God :)
Aug ’11 Now bored of retirement, Sindiso and Dan start a blog (to coincide with their move to Cape Town from New Hampshire)…
Thanks for checking out our blog!
A few recent reads we recommend:
Jabari Asim, The N Word
Steve Biko, I Write What I Like
David Brooks, The Social Animal
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions
Frederick Douglas, My Bondage, My Freedom
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers etc.
Tim Keller, Generous Justice
Tim & Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
Soren Kierkegaard, For Self Examination
Soren Kierkegaard, Philosophical Fragments
Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky
Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man, Immoral Society
Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Jim Wallis, God’s Politics
Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery