Monday, June 2, 2008

Commentary on recent attacks on non-South Africans in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban

Some really graphic photographs of humanbeings being burnt to death by mobs in townships in Johannesburg have been circulating on the internet, leaving recipients with a very negative view of South Africa and South Africans.
Here in America where the masses are little informed about other parts of the world, particularly Africa they find these visuals very disturbing, horrifying and alarming. I doubt that this will encourage tourists to come for the world cup in 2010.
More and more, South Africa is seen as a violent country where violence is random and unpredictable. I think this is a pity because as a country and a people I believe South Africa and South Africans have a lot to offer. I am however not surprised at this intense outburst of violence. I blame the South African governement for ignoring the signs of discontent and frustration from the unemployed and impoverished masses in the townships. I think this mayhem could have been averted.
I blame the governments of Zimbabwe, Malawi, mozambique, Nigeria e.t.c., for making life so difficult in these countries that their citizenry are forced into exile and exposed to the kinds of vulnerabilities that lead to violence and death. I blame the kind of leadership that promotes divisiveness amongst Africans. Why can we not love ourselves? Why do we maim and fight and destroy each other? As an African I should feel safer in any country in Africa than in America or Europe. Why should I be made to feel like an alien in Africa?
I can understand that our black brothers and sisters in South African have been through a lot but now they are turning on people who did not have anything to do with their pain and suffering. They are turning on people who reached out a helping hand to them. That is not acceptable. As Africans our cultures promote hospitality, we welcome strangers into our midst we don't kill them. I am just so profoundly saddened by the senseless loss of lives and ashamed of my brothers and sisters in South Africa.

1 comment:

Thomas Blaser said...

The legacy of colonialism is still so much alive! Ijeoma, check out my comments on the same issue.