Living as a foreigner in South Africa for the past 10 years has been both challenging and rewarding personally. Challenging in that there were many barriers to actually forming genuine long term bonds probably due to social and cultural differences. But I am a huge ambassador for Social cohesion which is what I advocate for as Miss Cameroon South Africa 2016. I did not let language barriers or differences in nationality to hinder me from seeking these kinds of close associations. However, I would be lieing to myself if I say it was easy to do so. Based on my experiences over the years, I can say that South Africans from different regions act differently. So for example, people from the Eastern cape differ from people living in Gauteng. Also, people from different tribes act differently too. So a Zulu won’t quite relate the same way with you like a Venda person. With that said, I can highlight that not all South Africans are Xenophobic. Infact it is a distressed and desperate minority seeking “Freedom from foreign oppression”
Image from xenophobic attacks in 2015
Google defines Xenophobia as :- dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.
But this is more than a dislike or prejudice. This is a mixture of hate, greed, jealousy and envy. I mean every year there are Xenophobic attacks in South Africa and people actually loose their lives, stores and livelihood. This is not even about the effects of apartheid because it’s been more than twenty years already.
While wounds are still healing, it gives no right for a human being to be killed because they are in your country “taking your jobs”. I mean look at Rwanda. They had the worst genocide in near history. But at the moment it is the most beautiful city in Africa with tourists buzzing in like crazy! Come to think about it, what makes the foreign nationals “Hire-able”, surely we can learn from each other in this continent. Why is it always about “My.My.My.My”. When will it change to “We.We.We”. If these South Africans killing their fellow African brothers and Sisters actually took the time to learn their skill, then maybe they too will get employed. I understand the concerns of crime increasing due to some foreigners in communities. But lets be honest, the crime wave in South Africa is bad, with or without foreigners. So why pin the blame primarily on foreign nationals? It’s time for people to wake up, get skills and face the real issues here.
When will these Xenophobic Mannerisms stop? There is no country in the world without foreign nationals!
Lets begin to change our My mindsets to a We mindset.
I’ve said my part.