South Africa: Xenophobic Violence And The Rest Of Us

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.

 

 

 

 

Image source: DailyMaverick

 

Jennifer Ehidiamen founded RuralReporters.com in 2014. She is actively exploring the intersection between storytelling, tech and development. She has reported on global health and development issues in Africa for Voice of America (VOA News), Global Press Institute, Ventures Africa, The Nation etc. A 2016 Foreign Press Scholarship award recipient, 2013 Innovative Young Journalist Award recipient, 2013 New Media Fellow for International Reporting Project, and 2010 LEAP Africa Award recipient, Jennifer runs the Rural Reports project with a team spread across different regions in Africa. The news portal is dedicated to covering issues around rural development. Jennifer graduated from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism with a degree in Mass Communication and earned a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University. She has published three books: "In Days to Come" (2004), "Preserve my Saltiness" (2011) and "Half A Loaf And A Bakery" (2013). Jennifer currently serves as a full-time writer and communications consultant. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @Disgeneration

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