Vaselinetjie tells the story of Helena ‘Vaselinetjie’ Bosman, a white girl raised by her loving brown grandparents in a remote rural village in the Northern Cape, South Africa. However, upon learning that Vaselinetjie is not their biological grandchild, the welfare intervenes and decides to send Vaselinetjie to a state orphanage in the far away city of Johannesburg. Life in Johannesburg does not resemble her prior existence and is in vivid contrast to it. For the first time, Vaselinetjie is confronted with the harsh realities of life, as well as unloved children, smoking cigarette butts, making friends and fitting in. In a world where no one cares about anyone else she too learns not to give a damn. It is only when she falls in love with the rebellious orphan boy, Texan Kirby, that she’s forced to confront the true identity of her complicated past.
Vaselinetjie is a story about defining the meaning and origin of one’s identity and race within the turmoil of post-Apartheid South Africa.