I had two first days of school when we first immigrated to this country, once when I placed in Mr. K’s classroom, and another when I was transferred out of his classroom, to Mrs. T’s classroom. So, on this second first day of school, as usually is the case for newbies in school, I was placed in the very back corner of the room, next to boy named Darryl. Darryl was special to me; he was black, and me being from South Africa where I was also considered to be black, he was not intimidating for me.
So, on this first day, I turned to Darryl and spoke to him in Zulu; I don’t remember what I asked, but I clearly remember his response: “What? 😕 Speak English…” And I clearly remember my shock, because Africans back home never knew English…hence why I knew Zulu.
I went home that afternoon, and told my parents about my day and how Darryl speaks English, and how weird that is. And my parents laughed till they were red, saying “of course he speaks English! Only Africans speak Zulu! Silly, we told you that, remember?” Ummm, no, I clearly did not remember. 😳
I proceeded to bug the poor guy relentlessly with questions, and he used to furtively look around to see where the teacher was, and hiss at me, “shhhh! You’re gonna get us both in detention!” To which I, of course, said, “What’s detention? 😕 “