Phindile as a Xhosa wife

Phindile as a Zulu girl

29 December 2019 | 21H09

NATURAL SELECTION –A process that results in the adaptation of an organism to its environment through selectively reproducing changes in its genotype, or genetic constitution”

This means that organisms evolve due to adapting to their environmental conditions. This has been an interesting term for me, especially after marital life – I see natural selection in humans daily. This isn’t a process that happens in plants and animals alone, but as humans, we adapt to our circumstances. It is because of this phenomenon that we give birth to children who are a result of our environmental changes.

After being in a cross-cultural marriage, I’ve taken note of natural selection. For instance, I’m Zulu from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and my husband is Xhosa from the Eastern Cape. After moving to a different province, I’ve learned to adapt to a new environment on all levels but particularly, linguistically. Because I’m living in a different province under a different ethos, I automatically adapt to the environment I am in. I no longer follow my Zulu vocabulary not by choice but by adaptation. Some words have become a vague memory as I no longer speak them and I’m only reminded of these when I hear their mentioning; then only does it reoccur to me. In essence, I eventually adapt to Xhosa and succumb to what I hear. When I visit home in Durban, I almost feel misplaced because I am no longer familiar with the dialect and neither are they with mine. I have therefore adapted to my environment and as a result, I have reproduced Xhosa speaking children who do not speak Zulu but Xhosa – this is essentially what natural selection implicates.

Natural selection occurs on many levels and layers of life. This process occurs again when a Zulu from Durban moves to Jo’burg and ends up speaking ‘Jo’burg Zulu.’’  This would create children who speak a different dialect of the same language. When those children visit their grandparents back in KZN, it is evident that they are not from the community due to their geographical upbringing. They end up speaking many languages and lose the essence of their Zulu language because Jo’burg is a multi-cultural city. Probably the person this Zulu child would marry might be Sotho or any other ethnicity and in turn, they’d give birth to children of that culture.

With natural selection comes the loss of a certain heritage however its breeds a new one. I recently encountered a Zimbabwean woman married to a Nigerian man. They both met in Jo’burg and cannot speak each other’s languages resulting in their children speaking English. In another example where a Venda woman married a Xhosa man, the children speak Xhosa because the wife could speak the language.

Perhaps after this read, you’ll take note of the many ways in which we evolve as humans and it’s quite a fascinating phenomenon. Maybe take note of the ways you have evolved from what your parents or grandparents were accustomed to and how that will affect your future.

**It is mandatory to mention that I do not concur with Darwin’s theory of evolution as I believe that humans do not come from homo sapiens but are created in the image of God. I am rather interested in the terminology of natural selection and have tailored it to fit my topic. **

*Jo’burg is short for Johannesburg – a city in South Africa*                                                             

                                                      Lots of Love, Phindy