Talking about South Africa

Download audio file (lerato.mp3)

In this recording Mark interviews Lerato, who comes from South Africa.

M: Ok so…Hello everybody I am sitting here with Lerato from South Africa. What part of South Africa do you come from, Lerato?
L: I come from Johannesburg.
M: Right, so you were born in Johannesburg?
L: I was born in Durban, educated in Cape Town, and lived and worked in Johannesburg.
M: Sorry.
L: It’s the last place that I lived before coming to Japan.
M: Right, and what’s Johannesburg like? What kind of a place is it?
L: It’s the biggest city in South Africa. It’s mainly the business capital. It’s quite a dense city, almost what New York is to the United States.
M: I don’t know a lot about South Africa, but in high school I learned during the apartheid time, there were three groups, the black people, the white people and the colored people.
L: Uh-huh.
M: Do people still classify other people in the same way in South Africa now?
L: Um, yeah, yeah, they still do that, but um…yeah, they do.
M: So in Johannesburg, how many black people, how many white people, how many colored people?
L: (laughs)
M: Do you know roughly?
L: No, I don’t but basically it’s about maybe eighty percent black people generally and then the other ten is divided among white and coloreds, but the coloreds have the smallest population.
M: And the coloreds, they are mixed people? Indian, Asian, black, white, mixes of all races or…
L: No, no. It’s a mixture between…traditionally it’s a mixture between black and white. Um, yeah, a mixture between black and white.
M: Do you know, there are two words: mulatto and mestizo. I am not sure of the right pronunciation.
L: Yes, I have heard those.
M: They are South American words.
L: Yes, they are South American words. I think they refer to people who are of mixed race.
M: Mixed race, right, OK. So you’re in Japan now and you’re studying your masters in architecture.
L: Yes.
M: Are you specializing in any particular area?
L: Architectural symbolism.
M: Symbolism, wow!…wow.
L: Don’t ask me to expand. (laughs)
M: Architecture and symbolism are both really interesting.
L: Mmm.
M: Ok well I can’t ask you any more questions about architecture…but ah, ok…well thanks for talking to me.
L: Ok. It was nice talking to you also.
M: Thanks a lot.
L: Bye.