Rose Cam

Born: Not given

Natal, South Africa

Date of interview: 20th July 2006

Map showing where Rose Cam came from

He was black?

My dad, yes, yes. But he was tailoring for everybody. This is what I was saying. If you came to that part of South Africa and then left again you would not have believed that Apartheid was there because people just ignored it and carried on with their lives, black and white. And the police were not nearby to see, to try and enforce their, you know, draconian rules. But then, as Apartheid got deeper and deeper it spread into the country. It's worse in the country now, because they started uprooting black people from the country because they wanted the land for themselves and carving the land.

So, but, my dad sewed for everybody. I mean, all the colours of the rainbow used to come to us, our home to be measured and then I worked in a white hospital with white nurses and it really was not an issue to me. But I remember in Maidenhead one of the sisters I worked with on a ward called Desborough Ward turned to me, she said to me 'I'm surprised that you're from South Africa.' I said 'Why are you surprised?' She said 'Your attitude is so different. You don't seem to have a chip on the shoulder.' I said 'Well, why would I have a chip on the shoulder?' She said 'Well, you just, you can talk about black and white, you don't seem to have any anxiety about it.' I said 'Well, I'm black. It's true. So, what's the problem?' And she said 'No, but sometimes some people when you talk about black they don't like it.'