Tables shall turn for ‘Africa Lite’

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Having learnt at a leading South African university, I believe I had a chance to understand and make friends with the nation for a couple of years.

My stay there resulted in me getting a lot more than just a university degree and for that I am eternally grateful. However, the current goings-on in that country have reduced my trust and faith in the rainbow (ironic) nation. It has made me question their values as a people, especially a people that is very vocal about their traditions and the notion of “Ubuntu”.

They pose as people that love celebrating their “Africanness”. And yes, I am referring to them as a whole, generalising so to say, because that is exactly what they have done to us in our hour of need.

Who doesn’t know that things are not right in Zimbabwe? Who doesn’t get that we have sought other options in an attempt to eke out a living? A whole nation decides to conveniently forget that during their hour of need, Zimbabwe was there to assist.

Now you are all good and all you can think of is we are “wasting your resources?” One of South Africa’s leading comedians once said: “As South Africa we know we are part of Africa, but if we were a lager we would be Castle Lite.”

The other African countries are the real Africa that stink of poverty, disease and dark-skinned people. At the time, being a huge fan, I made light of it. But now it all makes sense. Some South Africans genuinely think they are better than the rest of us.

Fine, South Africa has all the fine buildings, the best facilities and generally she is the preferred African country when a random European feels like a taste of Africa. It’s because South Africa is Africa Lite, you see.

But one thing I will say is this, the South Africans’ levels of shallowness are beyond pathetic. One would think that we are past the era wherein violence was meant to solve anything. Year in, year out, the people preach democracy, freedom and the importance of upholding basic human rights. Yet they do the absolute opposite — violate and kill fellow human beings simply because they are from a different country.

And let’s face it, half the people that are killing foreigners and claiming that they are “stealing our jobs” are not even qualified for the jobs anyway. They are too lazy to work. Not to blow our own trumpet or anything, but Zimbabweans break their backs working for peanuts just to put food on their tables.

Fact! Our beggars on the street are mostly disabled or blind. In South Africa, as a student during my university years, I would be approached by endless able-bodied young people who would not just ask for money, but state the amount of money they wanted. “R5 sisi, just R5.” Seriously?

Their jobs are being taken away. Their bosses continuously prefer to employ foreigners rather than them — have these people ever wondered why? Or they still don’t even think that far? They really think their employers deliberately choose to hire a foreigner yet they are there, fully qualified and ready to take on the challenge?

The so-called foreigners are setting up base in South Africa, starting up their businesses and running them efficiently in their territory — why are South Africans not doing the same? They are, after all, the “elite” Africans, aren’t they? Or are the dark-skinned, poverty stricken fellow Africans suddenly better than them when it comes to running their lives?

Why do their countrymen continue to prefer hiring foreigners to them? Why are some of their top companies managed by Zimbabweans?

I would have thought it would be plain to see. But obviously not to South Africans, which is why they always resort to violence and irrational thinking.

They have always thought and clearly still think killing will solve their own inadequacies.

This is only a rant which will probably do absolutely nothing in the way of helping my fellow countrymen who find themselves in South Africa right now and which will probably do even less for the “brains” (if I can call them that) behind the xenophobic attacks.

Tables shall turn Africa Lite. Wait and see.

1 COMMENT

  1. As a South African I find some of the points you make are valid. However the simple man-on-the-street in this country has a point as well: Zimbos, Malawians, Mozams ARE taking a lot of the unskilled work which was formerly done by them. The foreigners are getting those jobs because they work harder for less money. The better education of Zimbos has led to many of them being employed outside their fields, we all know of cases of drs and lawyers working as car-guards in SA. The xenophobia will settle down again, as it did in 2008, but it won’t go away. Some introspection is now needed by Zimbos regarding the future: they (so typically african) continued to vote for their tin pot dictator Mugarbage, while at the same time voting with their feet by running to SA. If they had shown courage at the time and eradicated the scourge of SADC things would be looking different now, both SA and Zim would be peaceful, and respecting each others citizens. But they are cowards and just ran away from the monster they had created. In SA the situation in 2002 needs to be re examined too: who were the figures behind withdrawing the army from the borders? Was it really just a military decision, or was big business behind it, because they profited so much by the way the labour market was flooded by the economic refugees. Those guilty need to be punished.

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