Feb 23, 2017

Xenophobia Again?



Protesting against xenophobic attacks. Source: Mail and Guardian


“It is crucial that South Africans should know that, as they talk about fellow black Africans taking their jobs, we have MTN and Multi-Choice trawling millions of dollars from nearly all these African countries on a daily basis. These millions of dollars are raked into the South Africa economy, for the benefit of the South Africans.”

When this current wave of killings started, I thought it was one of those inevitables, but the momentum gradually built and has refused to abate. 

So much has happened to make me respect South Africa. It’s the reason why I find it preposterous, the current wave of killings of fellow Africans down there. It’s called xenophobic killings, but it’s plainly hate that comes from a South African’s distorted understanding of how the world looks beyond the boundaries of their country. 

They say it is about jobs, but one is left wondering why only black Africans are targeted. Most of the Igbos targeted are traders who have worked hard to build their businesses. Like we often say here, “if you go to a village and you don’t find an Igbo-man, it means that foreigners are not tolerated in that village.” What that means is that Igbos are found everywhere under the sun: from Cape to Cairo and from Somalia to Gambia, from Greenwich to Greenwich and from the North Pole to the South Poles. Why are they not bullied for taking opportunities in those other nations? It gives reasons why the South Africans should check themselves. One thing I know is that should the Igbos leave those trading opportunities, the South Africans wouldn’t take them. Rather, they would be taken by other races, most probably Indians or the Chinese -these are races that you find trading everywhere around the world as well. If it was something our South African brothers can do, they would have been in it, competing with other races. When you consider that lootings are often associated with these attacks, you conclude that there is a hidden motive.

It is crucial that South Africans should know that, as they talk about fellow black Africans taking their jobs, we have MTN and Multi-Choice trawling millions of dollars from nearly all these African countries on a daily basis. These millions of dollars are raked into the South Africa economy, for the benefit of the South Africans.

South Africans would say, “South Africa is for South Africans. South African women are for South African men.” It is when I hear this that I know that there is something fundamentally wrong. I see no reason why I should be worried when a foreigner comes to Nigeria to marry a Nigerian woman that loves him. Here in Nigeria there is polygamy, yet millions of women live their lives without getting married. It is not because they don’t find anything attractive about matrimony. Rather, it’s because no man has come to say, “Would you marry me?”-they are more than numbers, more than sand on the seashores. In churches, there are special prayer-sessions for women who are bidding farewell to their good years without wedding proposals. 

Beautiful women are not exclusive to South Africa. Each time I watch the South African ABSA Premier League and the cameras focus to the stands, I see the beautiful ones, as well as the others (I wouldn’t want to call any woman ugly. It is said that beauty is in the eyes of a beholder. The ones we often classify as “ugly” are even the ones that get married easily.) So the beauty of a woman is actually in her ability to love her husband, care for the children and keep the house warm for the joy of everyone in it.

Again, this South African xenophobia has something to do with ignorance. Perhaps the South African authorities should consider educating its citizens on real colour of the world outside.

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