Cape Coloureds () are a South African
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation ...
composed primarily of persons of mixed race. Although
Coloureds Coloureds ( af, Kleurlinge or ''Bruinmense'', lit. "Brown people") are a multiracial ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them fr ...
form a minority group within
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most populous nation a ...
, they are the predominant population group in the
Western Cape The Western Cape ( af, Wes-Kaap; xh, iNtshona-Koloni) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial a ...
. They are generally bilingual, speaking
Afrikaans File:WIKITONGUES- Alaric speaking Afrikaans.webm, Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It evolved ...
, though some speak only one of these. Some Cape Coloureds may code switch, speaking a
patois Patois (, pl. same or ) is speech or language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of ...
of Afrikaans and English called also known as Cape Slang (Capy) or , meaning Kitchen Afrikaans. Cape Coloureds were classfied under
apartheid Apartheid (South African English: ; , segregation; lit. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid wa ...
as a subset of the larger Coloured race group. At least one genetic study indicates that Cape Coloureds have an ancestry consisting of the following ethnic groups: *
Khoisan Khoisan , or according to the contemporary Khoekhoegowab orthography (), is a catch-all term for the "non- Bantu" indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous ...
: (32–43%) * Bantu-speaking Africans (mainly Xhosa): (20–36%) *
Ethnic groups in Europe The indigenous peoples of Europe are the focus of European ethnology Ethnology (from the grc-gre, ἔθνος, meaning 'nation') is an academic field that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples and the relationships ...

Ethnic groups in Europe
: (21–28%) *
Asian people Asian people (or Asiatic people)United States National Library of Medicine. Medical Subject Headings. 2004. November 17, 200Nlm.nih.gov: ''Asian Continental Ancestry Group'' is also used for categorical purposes. are the List of Asian countrie ...
s: (9–11%)

Origin and history

The Cape Coloureds are a heterogeneous South African
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation ...
, with diverse ancestral links. Ancestry may include European settlers, indigenous Khoi and San and
Xhosa people Xhosa people (; ) are a Nguni people, Nguni ethnic group in Southern Africa whose homeland is primarily within the modern-day Eastern Cape. There is a small but significant Xhosa-speaking (Mfengu) community in Zimbabwe, and their language, Xh ...
, and slaves imported from the
Dutch East Indies The Dutch East Indies (or Netherlands East-Indies; nl, Nederlands(ch)-Indië; ) was a Dutch colony consisting of what is now Indonesia. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the admini ...
(or a combination of all). People from India and the islands within the Indian Ocean region were also taken to the Cape and sold into slavery by the Dutch settlers. The Indian slaves were almost invariably given Christian names but their places of origin were indicated in the records of sales and other documents so that it is possible to get an idea of the ratio of slaves from different regions. These slaves were, however, dispersed and lost their Indian cultural identity over the course of time. Slaves of Malay and other ancestry were brought from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Madagascar, and Mozambique. This diverse assortment of people was subsequently classified as a single group under the Apartheid regime. Under Apartheid, under the Population Registration Act as amended, the term ''Cape Coloured'' referred to a subset of Coloured South Africans, with subjective criteria having been used by the bureaucracy to determine whether a person was a Cape Coloured, or belonged to one of a number of other related subgroups such as the "Cape Malays", or "Other Coloureds".

Cape Coloureds in the media

township (Cape Town, South Africa) Image:Christmas-bands-cape-town.jpg, The Christmas Bands are a popular Cape Coloured cultural tradition in Cape Town A group of Cape Coloureds were interviewed in the documentary series ''Ross Kemp on Gangs''. One of the gang members who participated in the interview mentioned that black South Africans have been the main beneficiaries of South African social promotion initiatives while the Cape Coloureds have been further marginalised. The film ''I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured - Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope'' (Monde World Films, 2009 USA release) is one of the first historical documentary films to explore the legacy of Apartheid through the viewpoint of the Cape Coloured community, including interviews with elders, pastors, members of Parliament, students and everyday people struggling to find their identity in the new South Africa. Sequel film “Word of Honour: Reclaiming Mandela’s Promise” (Monde World Films, 2016 USA release) Various books have covered the subject matter of Coloured identity and heritage. Patric Tariq Mellet, heritage activist and author of 'The Camissa Embrace' and co-creator of The Camissa Museum, has composed a vast online blog archive ('Camissa People') of heritage information concerning Coloured ancestry tracing to the Indigenous San and Khoe and Malagasy, East African, Indonesian, Indian, Bengal and Sri Lankan slaves.


The term "coloured" is currently treated as a neutral description in Southern Africa, classifying people of mixed race ancestry. Once used in the Western countries as well, especially so in North America, the term has shifted in meaning and is now Colored, regarded as derogatory in the Western World; a newly-coined term "person of color" has since become common and preferred by the members of the community and the general populace. This term tends to mean any non-white person, as opposed to a mixed-race person, where the term "multiracial" is used. "Coloured" may also be seen as offensive in some other western countries, such as Britain and the United States of America.

Notable people


* Midi Achmat, South African writer and LGBT rights activist * Zackie Achmat, South African HIV/AIDS activist & filmmaker * Neville Alexander, Political activist, educationalist & lecturer. * Allan Boesak (Political activist & Cleric). * Patricia de Lille, former Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, PAC, then Independent Democrats leader, then Democratic Alliance (South Africa), Democratic Alliance mayor of Cape Town, now leader of Good Party * Tony Ehrenreich, South African trades unionist. * Zainunnisa Gool, South African Political activist & representative on the Cape Town City Council. * Alex La Guma, South African novelist & leader of the South African Coloured People's Organisation * Trevor Manuel, former Finance Minister, currently Head of the National Planning Commission of South Africa. * Peter Marais, former Unicity Mayor of Cape Town and Former Premier of the Western Cape * Gerald Morkel, former mayor of Cape Town * Dan Plato, Western Cape Community Safety Minister. * Dulcie September, political activist. * Adam Small (writer), Adam Small, political activist, poet and writer. * Percy Sonn, former president of the International Cricket Council.

Artists and writers

* Peter Abrahams, writer * Tyrone Appollis, academic * Willie Bester * Dennis Brutus, journalist, poet, activist * Peter Clarke (artist), Peter Clarke * Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, writer & performance artist * Garth Erasmus, artist * Diana Ferrus, poet, writer & performance artist * Oliver Hermanus, writer, Director * Rozena Maart, writer * Mustafa Maluka * Dr. Don Mattera * James Matthews (writer), James Matthews, writer * Selwyn Milborrow, poet, writer, journalist * Arthur Nortje, poet * Robin Rhode * Richard Moore Rive, writer * Tracey Rose * Adam Small (writer), Adam Small, writer * Zoë Wicomb, writer * Athol Williams, poet, writer, scholar, social philosopher

Actors and actresses

* Quanita Adams, actress * Natalie Becker, actress * Lesley-Ann Brandt, actress * Meryl Cassie, actress from the TV series ''The Tribe (1999 TV series), The Tribe''. * Vincent Ebrahim, actor * Vinette Ebrahim, actress * Kim Engelbrecht, actress, Dominion (TV series), Dominion, Isidingo, The Flash (2014 TV series), The Flash * Kandyse McClure, actress, Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series)

Beauty queens

* Tansey Coetzee, Miss South Africa 2007 * Tamaryn Green, Miss South Africa 2018 * Tatum Keshwar, Miss South Africa 2008 * Amy Kleinhans, former Miss South Africa 1992 and first non-white Miss South Africa. * Liesl Laurie, Miss South Africa 2015 * Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss South Africa 2017 and Miss Universe 2017 * Jo-Ann Strauss, Miss South Africa 2000, media personality and business woman.


* AKA (rapper), AKA, hip hop recording artist * Jonathan Butler, jazz musician. * Paxton Fielies, singer * Jean Grae, hip hop artist. * Paul Hanmer, pianist & composer * Abdullah Ibrahim, jazz pianist * Robbie Jansen, musician * Trevor Jones (composer), Trevor Jones, South African born film composer. * Taliep Petersen, musician & director * YoungstaCPT, rapper


* Marc Lottering, comedian * Jenny Powell, television presenter.


* Shaun Abrahams, 800m runner * Cornel Fredericks, track & field sprinter * Paul Gorries, Sprinter * Leigh Julius, 2004- 2008 Olympian * Geraldine Pillay, 2004 Olympian, Commonwealth medallist * Wayde van Niekerk, track & field sprinter, Olympic and World Champion, and World Record Holder


* Paul Adams (cricketer), Paul Adams * Vincent Barnes * Loots Bosman * Henry Davids * Basil D'Oliveira * Damian D'Oliveira * JP Duminy * Herschelle Gibbs * Beuran Hendricks * Reeza Hendricks * Omar Henry (cricketer), Omar Henry * Garnett Kruger * Charl Langeveldt * Wayne Parnell * Alviro Petersen * Robin Peterson * Vernon Philander * Ashwell Prince * Roger Telemachus

Field Hockey

* Ignatius Malgraff * Clyde Abrahams * Liesel Dorothy * Luke Nelson (field hockey), Luke Nelson


* Cole Alexander * Andre Arendse * Tyren Arendse * Wayne Arendse * Bradley August * Brendan Augustine * Emile Baron * Shaun Bartlett * Delron Buckley * Daylon Claasen * Rivaldo Coetzee * Lance Davids * Keagan Dolly * Kermit Erasmus * Jody February * Taariq Fielies * Quinton Fortune * Bevan Fransman * Stanton Fredericks * Reeve Frosler * Morgan Gould * Victor Gomes, referee * Travis Graham * Ashraf Hendricks * Rudi Isaacs * Willem Jackson * Moeneeb Josephs * David Kannemeyer * Ricardo Katza * Daine Klate * Lyle Lakay * Lee Langeveldt * Clinton Larsen * Stanton Lewis (footballer born 1987), Stanton Lewis * Benni McCarthy, South Africa national football team, South Africa national team's all-time top scorer with 31 goals * Fabian McCarthy (South African footballer), Fabian McCarthy * Leroy Maluka * Grant Margeman * Bryce Moon * Nasief Morris * Tashreeq Morris * Ace Ncobo, referee * Reagan Noble * Riyaad Norodien * Bernard Parker * Peter Petersen (footballer), Peter Petersen * Brandon Peterson (footballer), Brandon Peterson * Steven Pienaar * Reyaad Pieterse * Wayne Roberts (soccer), Wayne Roberts * Frank Schoeman * Ebrahim Seedat * Brandon Silent * Elrio van Heerden * Shu-Aib Walters * Mark Williams (South African footballer), Mark Williams, scored both the goals in the victorious final of the 1996 African Cup of Nations * Ronwen Williams


* Gio Aplon * Nizaam Carr * Kurt Coleman (rugby union), Kurt Coleman, Western Province & Stormers player * Bolla Conradie * Juan de Jongh * Peter de Villiers * Bryan Habana * Cornal Hendricks * Adrian Jacobs * Conrad Jantjes * Elton Jantjies * Ricky Januarie * Ashley Johnson (rugby union), Ashley Johnson * Cheslin Kolbe, Western Province & Stormers player * Dillyn Leyds, Western Province & Stormers player * Lionel Mapoe * Breyton Paulse * Earl Rose (rugby union player), Earl Rose * Errol Tobias * Ashwin Willemse * Chester Williams


* Raven Klaasen - tennis player * Devon Petersen - darts player * Kenny Solomon, South Africa's first chess grandmaster

See also

*Cape Corps *District Six *Kaapse Klopse


* * * * {{authority control Cape Coloureds, Afrikaner diaspora Ethnic groups in South Africa History of the Dutch East India Company