What’s the colour of love?

09 April 2018 - 11:11
By Katharine Child
Sindi and Marinus van Zyl.
Image: SUPPLIED Sindi and Marinus van Zyl.

In 2003, when Zimbabwe-born medical student Sindi Sithole’s professor heard she was marrying a white Afrikaner, he called her aside during a ward round and asked her not to change her surname.

He told her if her surname changed to Van Zyl, it would create an unfair expectation in patients' minds.

She explains his words: “It would be very unfair of me to create an expectation in patients’ minds and then they see me ... and are disappointed.”

She says she still had to pass her medical studies at the University of Pretoria, so she lied and said she would have a double-barrelled surname: Sithole-Van Zyl.

She married Marinus, who works in IT, in 2004 after he courted her from 2001. They met at church, and live in Johannesburg.