Xenophobia is a fancy name for the acts of a bunch of ignorant Africans who forget their rich history and journey and behave like depraved monkeys the white folks presumed us to be according ancient history. Africa has come a long way from slavery to apartheid. I am not here to give history lessons but I literally cannot believe that some Africans feel that other Africans do not have a place in their country (An African country)
I grew up conscious of the African history, my parents insisted on us reading books that documented the African struggle and I took particular interests in the history of south Africa, I became engrossed in the music and literature, I enjoyed the literature and fed my soul with the music of Hugh Masakela and Mariam Makeba at some point I let in some other south African artists like Yvonne Chakachaka
I watched the Graceland concert with Paul smith over 100 times and I chanted ‘bring back Nelson Mandela bring him back home to Soweto’ like my life depended on it. One of my personal favorites is Soweto blues by Mariam Makeba. I loved the history and music of South Africa so passionately; this love was projected to its people. I chanted words with LadySmith Black Mambazo with so much passion feeling some sense of belonging. I wanted so much to be from South Africa because I thought in a way it would make me have heart because as a child I thought Nigeria and Nigerians were too mediocre for me. As I grew older and fell in love with gospel music, guess what it was South African gospel music from the likes of Keke Phoolo, Benjamin Dube, Solly Mahlangu among others.
I regarded South African people as people with heart and passion, they are a people who know the value of history and will not let the labor of their heroes past be in vain. This attacks on foreigners however has challenged my respect for them as a people, it has threatened the very foundation of my childhood believes and is making me question a lot of my ideals growing up. It has made me wonder if those hours spent watching ‘Sarafina’ and the tears I shed was worth it.
You will wonder how is it possible to make an important issue such as xenophobia about myself and my childhood, but believe me this is how the whole world must feel, a lot of people and countries of the world rallied around South Africa in their time of need. We made their problem ours because we saw them as a part of us and as our brothers. Where has that brotherhood gone?
Apartheid messed with the very core of our humanity; it made us inferior and took away from us what our fore fathers worked for. It made us foreigners on the same soil our fore fathers tilled drenched in sweat and sometimes blood. It made us feel less than humans and those treatments were condemned by the whole world. A hand of fellowship was stretched out to you South Africa and it’s sad to see that we can’t count on you.
South Africa, wake up from the slumber of ignorance; do not make a mockery of your journey. Do not let the struggle be in vain, remember where you are coming from and please make amends. The world is for everyone, before God there is neither race nor creed, white nor black.
Right now South Africa, you are making a mockery of the works of Nelson Mandela and other people who fought for your very costly freedom. You are a people who have experienced intense hate because of who you are and probably the color of your skin. It is irresponsible of you to get out of that situation and become these people who commit black on black crimes. Do you not learn? Wake up! Africa is ours, we are brothers, let that veil of ignorance fall off your eyes.
It will be an effort in futility if I put forward an intellectual argument as regards Xenophobia in South Africa. The African struggle is an emotional terrain for me and I will not try to be intellectual about it. Africa is ours, don’t mock our history!