Haji Mohamed Dawjee, Sorry, Not Sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa. Cape Town: Penguin Books, 2018. Pages: 224. ISBN PRINT: 9781776092666

  • Mujahid Osman University of Notre Dame
Keywords: Book review


Sorry, Not Sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa captures your attention immediately. In a candid, almost curt style, South African journalist Haji Mohamed Dawjee allows you to enter her life through a series of 20 essays that cover race, religion, gender, sexuality, mental health, identity, and romance. This book is an admirable assessment of both“wokeness” within the South African political milieu and what intersectionality means at the level of the quotidian. It is a book that not only theorises about what it means to have an intersectional political ethic– it also shows this at the level of praxis and ontology. As a queer woman of colour from an Indian Muslim background, Dawjee embodies an intersectional identity that is held, with great tenderness and thoughtfulness, vis-à-vis configurations of power of the broader socio-political landscape of post-apartheid South Africa. In this review, I would like to focus on the inter-locking themes of religion, gender, and sexuality as they reflect the character of the personal as unavoidably political. Finally, this review has been written for an academic audience. While the intended audience goes beyond the porous boundaries of the academy, my reading of Sorry, Not Sorry has been elicited from my experiences within that context.