Country Lovers


Country Lovers is a short story about a black girl and a white boy who lives in the same town. The setting of the story is in South-Africa. At the time this story happens, South Africa was under a strict apartheid regime.

The girl works on thecouple.jpg farm of the boy’s father. Her name is Thebedi. Thebedi is a very good person, but lives under hard circumstances. Her family is poor and she has to work instead of going to school. The boy’s name is Paulus. Paulus is a tall, generous and rich boy, but he is also selfish and ruthless. Thebedi and Paulus was friends for a long time. They used to play together when they were kids, but when Paulus started at school they didn’t see each other more. They only met when he was home for holidays.

When Paulus was 15 years old he started to meet other girls from the school. He meets a girl at a wedding. They are sleeping together in a bedroom in the house. B

ut even though he meets new girls, he buys gifts for Thebedi. When he comes home, Thebedi and Paulus meet at the river where they used to play together when they were kids. Paulus tells of all the things he has done at school and how the school is. One day in the summer they meet at the river again. After a bath in the river Paulus and Thebedi make love on the riverbed. After that night they meet a lot of times that summer.

When Paulus is 18, he gets his driver’s license and the parents start to let him take care of the farm when they are gone in the weekends. Then Paulus and Thebedi stays a lot in the house together. When Thebedi is 18 she gets married to a man called Njabulo. At the same time Paulus is going to a veterinary college and doesn’t know about the marriage.

Two months after the marriage Thebedi gets a daughter. The baby is not dark as other African babies are. When Paulus comes home from school and finds out that Thebedi has got a baby, he gets very angry. He walks straight to the house where Thebedi lives. He sees the baby and gets very mad. He says he wants to commit suicide.

Two weeks later, when Paulus’ parents are away, he walks down to the baby and takes poison in the milk that Thebedi feeds the baby with. Later Thebedi finds her baby dead and goes to the police to tell what has happened. After one year the case comes up in court. But the court doesn’t have enough proof to say that Paulus is guilty. The result was “not guilty”.

Important information / educational value


This short story tells a lot about the situation in South Africa during the apartheid regime. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation in South Africa, led by the National Party government. The white population of South Africa was in charge of the country, and even though were the minority they oppressed the rest of the inhabitants. (Most commonly referred to as the black population). In ‘Country Lovers’, we see how distinct the differences between blacks and white were. The fact that Paulus was found ‘not guilty’, even though there was enough evidence against him, shows how the white people protected each other. The story also tells how the white children get to go to school, while the black children hardly gets educated at all. You have to know some things about the apartheid period in South Africa in order to understand the short story fully. The educational value is definitely present.

Theme / message
The main theme in ‘Country Lovers’ is how racial segregation and social differences affect people’s lives.

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