[LISTEN] Why it's offensive to tell black people that they speak 'good English'
'It's not an honour to speak English well... It's very painful that we find ourselves where one language is more dominant than the others,' says Weekend Breakfast host Phemelo Motene.
JOHANNESBURG - "You speak English so well" are words many people of colour in South Africa have heard at least once in their lifetime. However well-intended it may be, though, it's simply offensive.
On Radio 702's Weekend Breakfast, a listener by the name of Malcolm called in to congratulate host Phemelo Motene on the way she spoke English.
The radio host responded to Malcolm's comment by saying that she took offence to his statement.
"The assumption that us, who are not of English origins, chose to speak English is a sad thing," Motene said.
"To congratulate me, and to make it seem like this is an accolade, is extremely offensive because of our history.
"It's not an honour to speak English well... It's very painful that we find ourselves where one language is more dominant than the others."
Listen to the audio above for more.