Xenophobia, A disgrace on the African continent
The attack on foreign nationals, actually members of other African countries in South Africa has widely shown the failure of leadership on the continent. Xenophobia is said to be hatred towards foreigners due to fear of sharing national cake, but the most unfortunate aspect of the issue is Africans hating Africans, a rare situation among the west.
Africa, a continent that suffered for many decades due to the absolute evil from the colonial Master and still faces neocolonialism is a continent expected to love and adore every member of its race but instead Africa is painting a perfect picture portraying absolute vile and hatred. There’s a saying that goes like dress how you want to be addressed, our actions are telling the world that we still leave in the stone age and are yet to be civilized.
The disappointment of the whole situation was when the south African high commissioner to Ghana Lulu Xingwana was of the view that African leaders must provide jobs for their people to prevent them from living for South Africa in search of greener pastures, the statement on it own is not the problem but the contest in which it has been used is what has left Africa at large trying to save a face.
Former president of Ghana, John Mahama once said that the youth of South Africa today are not aware of their history, it’s so simple, South Africa went through Apartheid system for so long that the whole of Africa needed to stand up to colonial bullies to save an African nation hence nobody expects them to behave in this unfortunate manner. And as if that is not a pressing matter, Boko Haram, a terrorist group in Nigeria are said not to be happy with the incident in Nigeria and promised to pay them a visit meanwhile a student union in Nigeria gave all South Africans a maximum of seven days to leave the country while properties are already being destroyed in the process.
Many are of the view that, the current South African youths believe in gang violence and history has it that weapons used during the apartheid system have been kept by individuals leading to the motivation in setting up gangs. A little bit of xenophobia history,
Prior to 1994, immigrants from elsewhere faced discrimination and even violence in South Africa. After majority rule in 1994, contrary to expectations, the incidence of xenophobia increased. Between 2000 to 2008, at least 67 people died in what were identified as xenophobic attacks. In May 2008, a series of attacks left 62 people dead and some were South African citizens too.
The attacks were motivated by xenophobia. In 2015, another nationwide spike in xenophobic attacks against immigrants in general prompted a number of foreign governments to begin repatriating their citizens. A research conducted in 2018 showed that 62% of South Africans viewed immigrants as a burden on society by taking jobs and social benefits and that 61% of South Africans thought that immigrants were more responsible for crime than other groups.
If xenophobia is not given strong control measures, it would become a culture in South Africa, meanwhile the malady is already a disgrace across the continent.
By Festus Mawuli.