Whoever switches on the flip on the uprisings, reprisals and destruction in the southern part of the African continent must have mastered the arts perfectly. The annihilation and wreck being perpetrated in South Africa at this present time is inexplicably damaging, it leaves a man gum smacked as to the level of man’s inhumanity to man. Being xenophobic is the expression for dislike or prejudice against people from other nations. This is exactly what the Rainbow nation is expressing towards foreigners in South Africa especially those of Afrocentric origin.

It is important to mention that this show of violence has its tracing to the period before the end of the apartheid in the nation in 1994; but clearly it seems xenophobic perpetration may not have its end in sight.  It can be argued that these attacks are perpetrated every other year since the last decade, yet no positive actions are taken to curb these.

What does this story tell? South Africa has become ‘notorious’ for failing to curb attacks on foreigners working and living in its country, this notion neglects the bigger picture.[1]

However while being factual it is appropriate to state that Xenophobia is normal and alright but here is the big picture for this argument:

  1. Xenophobia is a natural process and an order nature has burdened upon us. The reasons adduced by the South Africans for these attacks is due to the fact that that foreigners are usurping their local contents and jobs. South Africans believe they are only being protective, and that is the underling basis for Xenophobia. Also as humans, it is believed we’ve worked hard to create our own territories, cultures and societies. For something different to come along and potentially undermine that instills a natural sense of protection. Our instincts tell us that the alien culture has potential to erode our own values to the effect of our children, family and friends. Many animals are protective of their own space. It can be argued that this is the primitive ideals instilled by nature.
  2. Xenophobia, an instinctive mechanism of survival, has been viewed as less of a phobia and more of a crime or an act of violence. One has to concede that xenophobia is but a phobia. It is on the basis of this perspective that I believe that xenophobia is a natural human phenomenon.[2]

The Inglorious: Who are They?

It is important the author of this content halts at this point to state out the fact that no matter the argument that supports Xenophobia; taking it to the extremes to perpetuate violence, stealing and all manner of crimes in the name of protecting territories is uncalled for as it has led us to become a dark continent rummaging on the blood of its dark skin, so inglorious!

As a matter of fact, the continuous denigration of foreigners in South Africa especially Nigerians cannot be farfetched from the poor socio-political and economic structure of Nigeria itself which has left most Nigerians migrating to other territories to seek better welfare. I am not against Nigerians leaving the shores of the country to establish businesses, as this is even obtainable in developed climes. My point on this is that leaving the shores should not be seen as the last beacon of hope for the ordinary Nigerian, as this is fast becoming the case. Nigerians are industrious and enterprising, wherever we find ourselves, we are able to develop industry. This defining factor has led us to become like the biblical Joseph caught in the storm of his jealous brothers. Now the Bafana Bafana ‘continent-men’ believe that the right way to challenge this is through arson, mass murdering, looting and carnage; rather uninspiring.

However, what still beats my imagination is how the South African government can look at this sacrilege and allow it taint its image before the international community. In Yoruba parlance, it is agreed that the corpse never knows the value of the coffin. There is no gainsaying, the Rainbow nation has to develop standards and look above this mediocre perpetration to ensure that the true spirit and cord of African unity does not begin to fragment from this discourteous gesture of its country men.

What is Left on The Table?

Further, this incident should not make us (South Africans and Nigerians alike) who we are not, reprisal attacks are not the way forward from Nigeria and more so, speeches and mere talks from the government delegates are not tenable at this point. We all need to sit at the table, discuss our issues and iron them out. In the meantime, the Nigerian government needs to be proactive, go back to the drawing board as this is a wake up call, and counter the measures that instigate its people to flee the country for greener pastures to their doom. I also believe that Nigerians should stop hinging on the fact that the country sponsored South Africa during the Apartheid period. This is only a wake up call to show that nowhere is safe for Nigerians all we can do is to make Nigeria working again!

Lives are gone, the wait and hate will destroy us all.

[1] https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725843.2017.1291325?src=recsys&journalCode=cafi20

[2] https://www.debate.org/opinions/is-xenophobia-a-natural-human-behavior