Tyla says she never denied her Blackness after identifying as ‘coloured’ sparked controversy

South Africa’s global-rising singer Tyla took to social media on Thursday to set the record straight about her identity following an interview on iHeartRadio radio show The Breakfast Club.

The “controversy” surrounding the Water singer’s identity stemmed from a December 2023 video that she posted, Entertainment Weekly reported. The 22-year-old in the video described herself as “Coloured South African.” But Tyla, who was wearing the traditional Zulu Bantu knots hairstyle, also explained it meant that she “comes from a lot of different cultures.” 

The Breakfast Club’s co-host Charlamagne Tha God revisited that topic when the Grammy winner appeared on the show, asking her to explain why she describes herself as a “Coloured” person. Tyla later went silent before her rep asked for that question to be skipped. 

Tyla ultimately shared a post on X [formerly Twitter] to address the said controversy. “Never denied my Blackness, idk where that came from,” she started. “I’m mixed with Black/Zulu, Irish, Mauritian/Indian, and Coloured. In Southa [South Africa] I would be classified as a Coloured woman and other places I would be classified as a Black woman. Race is classified differently in different parts of the world.”

The Jump singer also said she does not expect to be identified as “Coloured” outside of her home country “by anyone not comfortable doing so” as she understands the “weight of that word outside of SA [South Africa].”

She added: “But to close this conversation, I’m both Coloured in South Africa and a Black women [sic].” She also concluded her statement with the Zulu word, “Asambeee”, which means “Let’s go.”

Tyla’s identity particularly came under scrutiny after she penetrated the American market. Per BBC, using the word “Coloured” to describe a person is regarded as a slur by Americans – though that is not the case in her native South Africa. And the musician using that word to describe herself made a section of Americans suggest she’s denying her Blackness.

“When people are like, ‘You’re denying your Blackness,’ it’s not that at all. I never said I am not Black,” the 22-year-old said in an April interview with Cosmopolitan. “It’s just that I grew up as a South African knowing myself as Coloured. And now that I’m exposed to more things, it has made me other things too. I’m also mixed-race. I’m also Black. I know people like finding a definition for things, but it’s ‘and,’ not ‘or.'”

Francis Akhalbey

A reader once told me I lack the emotional maturity to cope with mythological breasts. I support Manchester United, by the way. And L.A. Lakers.

Recent Posts

Man told he wasn’t British after living in UK for 50 years granted indefinite leave to stay by Home Office

A retired shopkeeper, Nelson Shardey, who faced the threat of deportation despite residing in the…

11 hours ago

Khaby Lame is 2024’s most-followed TikToker, with another content creator following closely in 2nd position

Senegalese-Italian TikToker Khaby Lame is the most followed content creator on the platform in the…

11 hours ago

Meet the Nigerian artist transforming scrap metal into colorful sculptures

Dotun Popoola has become known as "Africa's Iron King" for his incredible sculptures that he…

13 hours ago

Woman allegedly used deceased man’s severed thumb to access his financial apps, only to use funds on booze

A woman allegedly used a deceased man's severed thumb to access his financial apps and…

16 hours ago

Giannis Antetokounmpo to make history as first Black athlete to carry Greece’s flag at the Olympics

Giannis Antetokounmpo, the celebrated Greek basketball player and two-time NBA MVP, is set to make…

16 hours ago

How Styles P is making waves in the health and wellness industry after opening hip-hop’s first health food store

Rapper Styles P is now in the health and wellness industry with over 20 projects…

16 hours ago

Woman told she can’t open her braid shop because there are too many similar shops: ‘I’m only here to survive’

Awa Diagne claims she was informed she couldn't open her shop because it is similar…

19 hours ago

The story of Lorenzo Johnson, who was wrongfully convicted and served 22 years in prison

Lorenzo Johnson was 22 years old when he was wrongfully convicted of the 1995 shooting…

20 hours ago

Meagan Good’s reaction when friends advised against her decision to date Jonathan Majors: ‘I trust God’

Meagan Good, an actress and model, has been transparent about her relationship with well-known actor…

21 hours ago

Man who was offered job interview after he changed the name on his resume sues

The Shinola Hotel in downtown Detroit is facing a discrimination lawsuit from a 27-year-old Black…

21 hours ago

74-year-old Ghanaian business mogul ties the knot with 24-year-old fiancee

Ghanaians on social media responded with mixed reactions after it was reported that a wealthy…

22 hours ago

The Jordan Brand, now led by a woman, is Nike’s best-performing division with $7B in revenue

At the peak of his career, Michael Jordan was the favorite of renowned brands, including…

1 day ago

Here is why Andre Iguodala rejected a $60M offer to accept a lower deal with the Golden State Warriors

Andre Iguodala joined the Golden State Warriors in 2013 with a four-year, $48 million contract,…

1 day ago

Hijab-wearing Moroccan activist wins first AI beauty pageant

Talk about the world of abstracts, and definitely, the competition to crown the maiden queen…

1 day ago

‘Khaby Is Coming To America’: How the TikToker got his own show featuring Alicia Keys, David Beckham, others

Media company Group Black and American multinational consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble (P&G) have…

2 days ago