Unfortunately I only got as far as the second part because when I hit the “submit to Home Affairs” button, I was confronted with a message saying, “place of birth doesn’t match our records”.
How could this be? The same place, Edinburgh, is reflected in both her birth certificate and passport. The form does have about four options for the UK, so I tried them all. Is she a citizen? A subject?
The truly Kafkaesque moment occurs when you find yourself reacting in a way that you know is illogical. So I tried the other boxes, though I know she wasn’t born in a UK overseas territory. I should know where she was born because I was there on that April Sunday afternoon.
I even remember that Arsenal played against Hull that Sunday. Those were the days before the club reached its current depths and there was something riding on the game — a slot in the European Champions League.
And yet, in desperation, I told the Home Affairs website she was born in SA. Didn’t work. I like the idea of my children being “citizens of everywhere”, comfortable with diverse places and cultures. But for the Home Affairs computer system, they are — one of them anyway — as the now former British Prime Minister Theresa May put it, “citizens of nowhere”.
• Mnyanda is the editor of Business Day.