Coconuts refers to the young, black middle class that went to previously white-only schools, in order to access the same opportunities their white counterparts have but who are still systematically disadvantaged because they are not white.
Chigumadzi says that just because black people have access to some spaces they previously did not have access to, it does not mean that inequality in South Africa has been adequately addressed. Coconuts are used as a buffer to maintain the institutional injustices that are so evident and prevalent across South Africa.
Msimang meanwhile has focused her research on interracial relationships in South Africa.
“I chose to look at friendship because I wanted to examine the values that are at play when we say we believe in cross-racial friendship,” she says.
The pair will be speaking at this year’s Ruth First Memorial Lecture, which commemorates the life and work of journalist and activist Ruth First.
Chigumadzi’s research focuses on “coconuts” as a product of the Rainbow Nation and how they exist in a time where decolonising has been prioritised and has dominated the media landscape.
While some have supported the ad for its progressive message of tolerance, others were outraged.
For example, one commenter left a positive message under a photo of the poster on the group's Facebook page: Love the DA! :-) Other users, however, had much harsher things to say, condemning the poster for immorality and calling it an "abomination." According to the Washington Post, one commenter posted a photo of an all-white, blonde family, saying "Now that's how it should be!
“In the current state of South Africa, it is extremely difficult to have genuine relationships beyond race – there are too many inequalities that still exist and until whiteness is willing to confront itself, it will not be possible.
Whiteness has to sacrifice itself at the altar of its privilege first,” she says.
“The similarities are significant, but in Australia I find that the levels of denial about racism are even worse.
At least we [in South Africa] are engaged and prepared to talk,” she says.
This campaign image is exactly what South Africa needs, now all the irrelevant racist "boers" can F off to their tiny irrelevant parties and the rest of us can stand together as one post-apartheid nation where race, religion or sexual preference doesn't mean anything, we're all human! " Still others were angry for the ad's depiction of white male dominance over black women, reports.