AFRICA IS FOR EVERY AFRICAN
By: Thalente Ncube
Xenophobic attacks, intolerance, and bullying are a threat to many expatriates who are illegal citizens in South Africa.
In 2009, South Africans were strongly criticised when they attacked foreigners residing within the country. It was reported that these foreigners come to South Africa for various reasons; some for better job opportunities, an escape from civil wars in their countries and others just escaped for the wrongs that they did in their respective countries.
“I came to South Africa back in 2002 during President Mandela’s time for better job and to grow economically since Ethiopia is struggling economically,” said Solomon Amir, a street vendor in the city of Durban.
Recent economic rankings in Africa show South Africa to be the second best country behind Nigeria. Some reports have attributed this, amongst other things, to the influx of refugees into the country.
The spirit of companionship is very much alive in this country. South Africa is well-known for respect and warmth within its people which now seams obviated. “I can safely say since I arrived in South Africa everything has been good with me; the weather, nature and its people have the spirit of Ubuntu despite xenophobia in 2009,” added Amir.
We can be financially, racially, or religiously different but what is common within us is that we evolve from the common ancestry which is “African africanus” therefore we have an obligation to stick to one another.
Dr Goldstein, a Chief Rabbi says, “Our nation reflects the strength, vitality and beauty of our diversity as human beings and the awesome divine potential within each one of us.”
During the apartheid era, many freedom fighters were exiled to neighbouring African countries. It is in these places that they found a place and time to strategise against the apartheid regime. If the leaders also received hostile treatment form fellow brothers and sisters of that country, then the democracy enjoyed today would have only been but a dream.
South Africa can be a conducive place to live in only if we all make some effort, black or white, lame or able, and irrespective of one’s country of birth.