Opinion: South African Xenophobic Violence And The Rest Of Us

Opinion: South African Xenophobic Violence And The Rest Of Us

By Opinions | The Trent on April 20, 2015
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nigerians xenophobia south africa
Xenophobia attacks continue and spread to Johannesburg | Buzz South Africa

by Jennifer Ehidiamen

In April 2008, I remember asking a young South African about the Xenophobic violence in his country. The response I got shocked me.

He justified the killings of foreigners. He could have as well said, we will kill all of them because they are taking our jobs.

I was short of words. And for the rest of the conference, I avoided the young man like a plague because his mind was made up. No other view made sense to him.

By the way, we were in a global conference where a teenager from Israel gave a high5 to a youth from Iraq. One of those conferences where we lived the dream– that one day the world will be sane again. And we’ll stop killing one another.

I wonder if the inter-cultural dialogue and interaction made any impact on the young South African.

Fast-forward 2015. South Africans have launched another attack on foreigners. For almost the same reason as the past.

And tens and hundreds of young South Africans might just justify the action with the same thought pattern– they [other Africans] are taking our jobs, lets kill them all.

Forgetting that as the world continues to shrink to globalisation, young Africans will continue to break barrier and travel across borders to seek out new ventures, to foster development on the continent through cross-cultural innovations and collaboration.

Dear South Africans and other Africans, can you hear me?

Re-Orientation is key.

Jennifer Ehidiamen is a youth advocate. She tweets from @DisGeneration. This article is republished from the author’s blog, Dis Generation with permission.  

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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