Of South Africa xenophobic attacks

There is another side to this xenophobia issue that we will have to tackle once people are safe and the reprehensible necklacings have ceased.xenophobia

In the process of unpacking this horror, I sincerely hope there will be space made to discuss and interrogate the factors that lead to people leaving their native countries in the first place, and the role that African leaders are playing in that!

Some people come to South Africa (SA) to get an education. Some come to take up professional careers. Others come because they follow their hearts to marry South Africans. The reality, however, is that the greatest number of migrants leave their countries to come here seeking respite from war, political exclusion/oppression and poverty (Just like South Africans did during apartheid).

So, we are talking here about the most vulnerable members of humankind. Psychologically broken from being politically hounded, forcibly removed from their homes and possibly having lost family members in horrific incidents.

Economically wiped out and socially excluded. If anyone thinks that can be an easy thing for a human being to bear and survive, they are wrong. Starting over again in a new country where you do not know your way around, do not know the language and are ridiculed, with no capital and depending on handouts cannot be easy.

It is also not the African way (whatever the politicians and the International Monetary Fund [IMF] may have convinced you of!). Many would stay home and farm to feed their families and build their futures within their own communities if they could afford the farm inputs and the land.

However, back where they come from, political corruption precludes them from land ownership and meaningful economic participation. So they begin to buy into the dream of going to a whole new world where they might get the opportunity to take care of their families and regain their human dignity. (If you are a parent, you know that feeding your children is a top priority and you will do all in your power to ensure it happens. And because you know your circumstances, educating them to ensure they escape a similar fate is a second priority.)

This is where most of these people are coming from and this is why they are here. You do not see them at Tashas living it up and lunching with their families. Or watching the dolphin show at Ushaka Marine World. No, they are in that little shop trying to make a living to ensure their children eat that night. That little container is their safe house, their hope for a brighter future and now also their casket on the pyre of hatred that is being stoked by those who should know better.

This is #UbuntuFail on an epic level. Be that as it may, we foreigners also cannot keep weeping to be allowed to stay in a country where the majority believe we are leeching and not adding value (whether that leeching is real or perceived). Because the truth is that African leaders have failed African nations to a large extent. If our leaders fulfilled their floral and beguiling electoral promises, the degree of migration to the South would be less, or, at least, it would be more voluntary, meaning those who get here would have a better shot at quality work and lifestyles and also contribute to and integrate in a greater way into their adopted society or their original homes. There is surely a measure of blame to be laid at the feet of our leaders.

As much as we are clamouring to hear from Zuma, we should also be clamouring to hear from the various presidents of the affected nationalities! They surely have something to say.

Why are their people emigrating in droves? Their poorest and most vulnerable people! We need to hear from them too. What plan do they have for their people? And will that plan take five years to formulate?

My question to my countrymen of Malawi (my home and heartland), is what is it that we are going to do differently going forward, having experienced this trauma in SA? Will this impact on our sense of civic initiative and ignite more robust engagement with our government regarding economic growth, job creation and enterprise development? Will we demand performance now?

Will we go back to the floral electoral manifestos and start checking delivery against promises, asking questions where necessary and playing a role where called upon? Will we become more entrepreneurial and work collectively in the private sector? Or will we just get on those repatriation buses that have been arranged to Lilongwe; only to return three years from now to take another beating at the hands of those who have been failed by their own system and need a scapegoat for their own pain?.

  • The author is a Malawian citizen permanently residing in Durban, South Africa. She is managing director of MatricMag Pty Ltd.
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Blunt Truth
Guest

I agree with those blaming African leaders. Here in Malawi Peter Mutharika and his DPP govt are openly nepostic and tribalistic in public appointments favouring Lomwes. Look at huge numbers of Africans fleeing to Europe for a better life to escape political and economic oppression.

non cuticle hair
Guest

Piece of writing writing is also a fun, if you know then you can write or else it is
difficult to write.

kangaroo
Guest

kaya chautayo

Chintebwe
Guest

All its all,lets unite to help the govement for the job done sending coaches to take our cctas&brothers who are suffering.may the lord bless sa untill the final day

You must know!!!!!!
Guest

All african presidents are corrupt. This why people keep on flocking to other countries for economic refuge. Even the author is claiming to be a Malawian, the question is why didn’t she become a manager of a company on her own country(malawi)? You run way and you are staying in RSA. Come back and invest in Malawi such that your fellow malawians can get employment. You cant be saying that when you are a foreigner.

MKWINYANGWI
Guest
The writer is very much right about the leaders, but the problem is not only on leaders of countries but also we ourselves have a part to to point a finger at. Many of the people that have been attack in these attack are the people that have been lazy here in their home land hear me well I have said many not all. Many find it to go to RSA to cover for the lazy life they lived in their school days, being ashamed to do the same jobs they are doing now in RSA here in malawi. Its… Read more »
Andy Ndaonazino
Guest

All our leaders in Malawi have failed us. From Kamuzu, Muluzi, Bingu, Joyce Banda and Pitala. All are failures and perpetrators of both political and economic oppression.

yosefe Gambatula
Guest

Many African leaders have failed their people.They are very greedy people.What they know is to steal from public coffers living flushy lives and leaving its citizen in dire poverty.You can even see in north Africa people dying in large numbers crossing oceans in substandard vessels going to Europe.Its shame for an African continent.

Teacher
Guest

The author of this article has just hit the nail on the head. I am not surprised leaders of all countries from which the affected citizens belong have not come out to condemn xenophobia. They know they are they have failed their countries big time. They are ashamed instead rather than being touched. I salute the writer.

joe
Guest

It is obvious that we are really suffering here,we need very quick government reaction otherwise Malawians ll be slaves all over the world,”Home is best” this is very true but the problem with our government is that they care little for the people and bizy enriching themselves by indulging them selves in high profile corruption,the richer remain richer and the poor remain poor

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