I live in South Africa.
I own businesses in South Africa that employs a number of people, i couldn’t possibly be an illegal immigrant and no one can rightly accuse me of taking their jobs. Apart from this, i am a professional and bring value to South Africa.
I happen to know a number of other foreigners who are in my position or in similar positions and even more important ones all over the country. But this write up is not about me.
I have always attempted to get professionals together especially foreigners in an attempt to highlight what we are all about and put our selves out there in the public domain; unfortunately we have not managed to do so, so far!
Such initiatives could help and impact positively on peoples minds when they are asked or tempted to go and attack foreigners. Maybe, just maybe.
This is the third xenophobic attack that has taken place since i started living here. I have never been a victim of xenophobia and don’t know of anyone who has been affected directly. The closest i have been to the attacks was in 2008 when this erupted in Johannesburg area while i was living there.
In all the cases this particular one in Durban is about the worst; maybe, maybe not. It could be that with high penetration of social media as against 2008 a lot more awareness is created about events these days than then! Who knows.
What is the point of my narrative?
We all owe ourselves a duty both as Africans and as blacks to really examine or ask ourselves critical and honest questions about what would make another human being suddenly wake up and descend on another human and hack them to death in an instant.
People who had lived together as neighbours in some cases for ages. Doesnt make any sense. Each time i ask myself that question i have never been able to find an answer.
The current spate of attacks started in Durban and spread to some parts of Johannesburg. In all the cases, i think there is a failing of leadership to educate the people about the far reaching implications of this attacks and how it would greatly damage brand South Africa! I wouldn’t waste your time in trying to narrate some of those implications.
Worse of all would be economic, foreign direct investment, tourism as well as the direct impact on the so many South African businesses thriving across the continent of Africa.
What moral right would South Africa have to partake in any peace keeping initiative in Africa or any part of the world?
The leader of the African Union is a South African at this time! What an irony. Africans as a whole and the world fight and liberate you from the evils of apartheid and at the drop of a hat you descend on the same people who sacrificed immensely to get you the freedom!
Would South Africa survive an onslaught on their businesses, goods and services by the whole of Africa talk less of the world?
Why the leaders failed to respond immediately to stop or make attempts to stop the attacks i am not in a position to say. Be that as it may following wide spread outcry – thanks to social media – the leaders sprang to their feet and are now adopting a strategy to quench the fires; while the damage has already been done. I hope they are able to salvage something. A lot of shuttle diplomacy should be deployed too. The culprits of this crime should be punished and the world is waiting to see how many will go to jail for their role in this. Their is too much video evidence not to convict people. No kid gloves treatment will be acceptable.
There are no confirmations about the authenticity of some of the images and video clips that are circulating all over the world at the moment; whatever the case maybe the whole world see South Africans as very heartless people.
Having lived here for a number of years i may tend to disagree with that; but who wouldn’t be appalled after watching Mozambican Emmanuel Sithole being mutilated while the whole world watched? Unfortunately so, as the popular (Igbo) saying goes that if you spread salt on your self you would have invited goats to lick you up. South Africans have spread salt on themselves; now we have to start the process of cleansing. How long this cleansing takes and how effectively we can cleanse remains to be seen.
Can one man eat a cow? Definitely no. So left all alone can South Africans do all the jobs there is to do in this country? The answer is a resounding no.
All countries the world over always require the skill that are on offer from other countries. The point would be how those skill offerings are harnessed by the respective country.
Who to blame for xenophobia?
African leaders / heads of government!
They should all be held responsible for this ugly incident. Many of them are responsible for running their various governments to the ground. Many.
While some are still at it others are on their way to.
Need i start naming the various countries whose nationals are flooding to South Africa today in search of the golden fleece which unfortunately they don’t find and they end up virtually destitute?
Every day the news media is awash with desperate Africans of all nationalities drowning in their attempt to flee their home lands to supposedly better climes they think abound in various European countries.
Their is a popular saying that east, west, north and south home is the best! For me that will always be the case eventually and for most.
Why should this be the case?
If things were better in respective African countries many wouldn’t attempt this tortuous journeys and most of the time end up refugees in foreign lands.
Can we all collectively start asking the right questions of our leaders?
Can we start holding them accountable?
Can we start saying no to corruption?
Can we start saying no to mediocre leadership and demand better governance.
Thanks to social media we are all able to within a minute share information. So let us use this to our advantage. Nigerians used it effectively during the last elections in March.
Many of us who have continuously tolerated bad leadership in our various countries across Africa are responsible for this show of shame in South Africa called xenophobia!
Just say NO to bad leaders and bad leadership.
We are bad followers.
Take note that we can say no without violence.
While i do not and will never support the killing of another irrespective of what jobs they are said to have taken from you let us spare a thought for South Africa and South Africans in this situation.
Many of the African heads of state playing to the gallery right now condemning the attacks should all be held liable for being responsible for what has happened in South Africa over the last week through their failed leaderships in their countries!
South Africans on the other hand must learn to be their brother’s keepers and tolerate other nationals, there should be no reason why they should allow themselves to be used to commit such heinous crimes against another human. I rest my case!