I am a black woman living in South Africa : an autoethnography
Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.
This research report is an autoethnographic narrative that gives a first-hand account of life as experienced by a young Black South African woman living in post-apartheid South Africa. It is a story of her life as a young child who was adopted after the death of her mother and the subsequent abandonment by her biological father. It is also the story of a Black professional woman who struggles to negotiate her way through the corporate world after having had negative experiences in some of the organisations that she has worked for. It highlights the plight of Black professionals all over South Africa who resort to job hopping as a means with which to escape unfair treatment in the workplace. The narrative also deals with issues that are specific to women only. Her experiences of these issues include unfair treatment due to the fact that she was pregnant and later on unfair treatment due to the fact that she is a single mother. They also include the abuse that she has suffered at the hands of certain men in her life. All of these issues have gone a long way towards shaping her perceptions of the country in which she lives as well the role that she feels she is expected to fulfil in it. The narrative is an honest and authentic account of the events that have shaped her perception of corporate South Africa as it struggles to incorporate Employment Equity and Affirmative Action policy into their organisational culture. She highlights the fact that the organisational policies and systems in themselves may be perfect but due to the fact that they have to be implemented by people they often reflect some of the prejudice that exists in society. In sharing her story it is her hope that other Black people would make their stories known for she believes that it is only when these stories are let out in the open can we begin to have meaningful dialogue about them and in so doing come to a resolution that will benefit all of us as a nation. She believes that our failure to talk to one another can only serve to widen the gap that currently exists between Black and White South Africans.