Sad week in Africa
With Tsibweni Chalo
The xenophobic attacks in South Africa, which have been targeting foreign African nationals, speak volumes about a continent riddled with suspicion and disillusionment.
Mdzukulu, for starters, it has been a sad week for Africa, where Africans working or doing business in South Africa have found themselves being targeted by their fellow Africans who believe they are being short-changed in their own country.
South Africa has been known as a nation where all manner of people live without craning their necks. But that is gone and foreign nationals, particularly Africans, live in perpetual fear of being attacked.
Their sin is that they left their countries to seek greener pastures in the Rainbow Nation, which welcomed them, gladly or otherwise.
The South African government insists that the attacks border on criminality and not xenophobia. Such semantics do not mean much because the reality is that in that country, there are people who are being attacked because they belong to other countries.
There are people who have worked so hard in South Africa to accumulate the wealth that has been destroyed in the twinkling of the eye by some misguided fellows who project their miseries to wrong targets.
Now, elsewhere, there are those who are threatening to avenge the violence by targeting South African businesses and individuals.
Thus, the spirit of Umunthu—which unites us Africans—is being undermined by acts of some people who do not work hard but believe they deserve special consideration.
Mdzukulu, essentially, the world is competitive and survival is for the fittest and the cleverest; it is not for the most violent.
On the other hand, the attacks in South Africa, targeting foreign nationals , speak volumes about how other countries are failing to keep their citizens in check and at home.
Those who are migrating to the Rainbow Nation to seek greener pastures there are doing that because there is no hope in their countries or something near that.
They want to earn a living where such a thing is possible and sacrifice many things about their lives to do that.
Mdzukulu, that is why the attacks—which are not new—should give other African leaders, especially those whose citizens are being attacked in South Africa, some food for thought on how they can improve the welfare of their citizens.
For Malawi, it is clear that the economic situation is not good and many people are struggling to live. They are the ones who are seeking other means of survival in South Africa.
Some returned to the Rainbow Nation after being rescued during the previous attacks because they had no means of survival back in their country.
It is a desperate situation which should not only prop action when the attacks happen; it should be put under consideration consistently so that we do not hear about the sad events again.
Nevertheless, this is not to say the attacks are justifiable. Like others have said, it is sad that there are several foreign nationals in South Africa who are equally ‘taking away jobs’ but they are not being targeted.
This signifies that we, Africans, need a revolution of the mind.
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