Whether she lives on a farm in Bloemfontein, the busy streets of Johannesburg or the chilled suburbs of Cape Town, there’s something really unique about the ladies in South Africa, and if you happen to find yourself infatuated with one, you can count yourself lucky.
They can be feisty and take no prisoners, but they’re also sweet enough for you to take home to your mom.
So what should you expect when you’re dating a Rooi Rok Bokkie? Of course, we’re the Rainbow Nation, so we’re all pretty different, but here’s a little lighthearted and (incredibly) rough guideline for you if you’ve ever considered getting your very own Saffa girl, straight from the horse’s mouth.
12. Always Be a Gentleman
South African ladies love it when you look treat her like a princess and also look after yourself, so if you’re planning on taking one of them on a date, be sure you use the term “date” and not “hang out” and that you’ll be the type of guy to open the door for her when you pick her up.
Nothing makes a man more attractive than showing the lady he likes that he is a keeper, and South African girls like a man that they could be proud of showing off to their friends and family. Put on your best suit and take her to a snazzy restaurant.
11. Be Prepared to Learn All About Her Traditions
The Rainbow Nation (as it’s known) is full of different cultures, so you need to be sure that you research (or at least pay attention to) some of your lady’s traditions. If she’s a Zulu girl, she would want you to know all about the cultural aspects that make her culture unique, and if you’re eyeing an Afrikaans girl, she could be big on her religion.
If you show that you have an interest in her traditions, chances are that she will respect you a lot more than if you didn’t. Don’t have time for traditions? Then, unless your ladylove from SA is the same, it’s probably best to move along.
10. You Will Always Have a Bodyguard
When you have a South African girlfriend, you won’t need a big brother. It doesn’t matter who she is—if someone messes with their mother, brother, little sister or boyfriend, a Saffa girl will not take it lying down. She will make them regret the day they were born. Whether she spits venom with her words or goes all-out Van Damme on their a*ses, she will make sure they know that messing with her loved ones is a bad idea.
If there’s one thing that South African girls have, it’s sass. So if you’re so much as rude to a Saffa girl’s boyfriend, she’ll make you regret the day you were born. Flirting with a man in a relationship with them should also be done with extreme caution.
9. She’ll Probably Know Rugby Better Than You Do
Rugby is something that unites South Africans, no matter what age they are, what race they are or what culture they are. Whether your South African girlfriend watches rugby or not, she will, at the very least, be able to tell you what a scrum is. It’s something that’s trained into us from a young age, and you’ll hardly walk around in a South African mall and not find someone sporting a “Springbok” jersey somewhere.
The hype around rugby in South Africa goes back decades and there’s nothing more fun than chilling at a friend’s “braai” on a Saturday afternoon with a Klippies and Cola, watching your guests cheer for their favourite rugby team and celebrating when the game is over. Your girl should be a pro at this as well.
8. She’ll Have Her Own Name For Things
A barbecue is called a “braai”, a satsuma is called a “naartjie”, and any form of alcohol is called a “dop”. If you start dating a South African girl, you’ll start picking up on words you’ve never heard in your life before. If you’re going to do something later, you’ll start saying that you’ll do it “just now” or “now now”, and it could mean that you’ll do it in 5 minutes time or in a month.
You’ll also abbreviate greetings and instead of saying “how’s it going?” you’ll end up saying “howzit?” – it’s terribly catchy once you get into the spring of things. At first you’ll probably struggle to understand what your South African love interest is saying to you, but you’ll get the hang of it. Eventually.
7. She’ll Probably Swear Like a Sailor
South Africans tend to swear in one of their 11 official languages, and most of the time it isn’t English. This is especially obvious in songs you might have heard from Die Antwoord or the movie District 9. Afrikaans tends to be a favourite because the words are very similar to Dutch and come out rather fierce and rough.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all South African ladies like to swear, some really detest it, but if she’s mad, you can be sure that at least one swear word will cross those pretty lips of hers, even if it isn’t a bad one. Mind you, you won’t even know it because you don’t speak one of the 11 official languages, except English of course.
6. …But Will Still Be Super Polite
Even if your girl swears like a sailor, you can be sure that she uses her “pleases” and “thank yous” like a saint. Especially when it comes to her elders. Older people are held at a higher standard in South Africa and you’ll probably hear your girl refer to older people by saying “uncle this” and “aunty that”, and that’s because we grow up with Afrikaans people that refer to their elders as “oom” and “tannie”.
She will also be a massive hit with your parents because she will ask before she does anything that she might deem disrespectful in your parents’ home (like leave the table before anyone’s finished with their food), keep her swearing to herself and laugh at jokes even if they’re only mildly amusing. We’re cool like that.
5. She’ll Probably Be a Carnivore
As I’ve stated before, “braaiing” is a favourite South African past-time, so if your girl loves her meat a little too much then you know where it came from. A favourite for Saffa girls is one big, juicy steak from their local Spur or Dros with a side of “slap” chips. This normally goes hand-in-hand with her love of spending lots of time with her family. So if you’re visiting her family with her, expect lots of chatting, eating, laughing and more eating. Especially meat.
Of course you do get the odd vegetarian in South Africa, they still love to eat big portions of whatever is being served, because we just love our food.
4. … And Able to Drink You Under the Table
Whether it’s wine, beer, cider or spirits, South African love them some “dop”. Or booze. Your girl will know what wine to have with which meat, she’ll be able to tell you what type of spirit you’re drinking with your cola and most importantly, she’ll probably be able to drink way more than you and still keep her composure, and to keep your ego in check, she won’t brag about it either.
Again, this doesn’t count for all Saffa girls, but if you do come across a girl who likes to drink, she’ll be quite good at it. One thing you will notice though, is that most Saffa girls stay away from beer because it’s considered “dodgy” in South Africa when a girl drinks beer. Mainly because our beer is the type that will make you grow chest hair. No Bud Light for us, thanks.
3. She’ll Probably Put Her Animals Before You
A South African girl who doesn’t like animals, isn’t a true South African. We were born and bred to love our little puppies and kittens like they are our children, so if you fall in love with a girl from South Africa, be prepared to love her “children” just as much. She probably has three little Yorkshire Terriers that keep her company along with a cat named “Fluffy” and they are her whole world.
In a country that celebrates wildlife, we learn to love our animals deeply and spoil them constantly – and no, we don’t keep lions as pets despite popular belief (although that would be absolutely awesome), and it might be strange, but a lot of ladies in South Africa are against hunting, even if their fathers aren’t.
2. Don’t Ask Her To Say “Souf Efrican”
There are some people in South Africa who speak English fluently (the majority, really), but of course there will always be people who have a bit of an iffy accent, no matter where you go in the world, and South Africa is no exception. Some people struggle to say the “th” sound in “south”, “mouth” or “those” and end up saying “f”. Others struggle to say the “a” in “African” and end up saying “efrican”.
Now, if your girl is one of the fluent English speakers, she will probably find it very offensive if you ask her to say “Souf Efrican”. Try to refrain from asking her to say it like that, and if she does speak like that, you’d do well not to point it out.
1. Accept That She Won’t Believe You Think She’s Gorgeous
Perhaps South African girls should know that they’re pretty, because the most famous South African girls are bombshells Charlize Theron and Victoria Secret model Candice Swannepoel, but we’re brought up being modest and that looks aren’t everything, so if you’re complimenting your girl and she shrugs it off, don’t take it personally.
Saffa girls appreciate a compliment, but feel terribly awkward accepting it. She will probably blush or roll her eyes, but you can be sure that she will be giggling about it throughout the day in her own mind.