Conversation on Xenophobia

Conversation on Xenophobia

Monday, September 9, 2019 1:33 am


Xenophobic attacks by South Africans on Nigerians. Photo creidt: BBC

Hope Eghagha

 

 

 

By Hope Eghagha

Chimurenga: On the xenophobia conundrum, the chickens have finally come home to roost.

Emeka: What do you mean? Which home and what kind of roosting?

Chimurenga: The come has come to become the come! The ultimate design for us to turn on fellow Africans for our woes! The poor against the poor in favour of the rich, black and white!

Father Ubuntu: Too bad for our continent; too too bad! Where is Nelson Mandela and all he stood for? Where has our humanity gone?

Gbenga: Gone with poverty, gone with globalisation!

Tom: It is beyond the pains of globalisation. It has to do with increasing wealth on one side, and increasing poverty on the other and the new capacity to see everything at a glance, on a dashboard as it were.

Ubuntu: We must return to our core values; we have to. Dog eat dog is not the way to go!

Giuseppe: Migrants have become a problem to statehood to established order. That’s the reason we have a terrible Minister of Interior who can’t stand the sight of migrants from Africa.

Tom: It would seem to me that citizens of the rich nations are rejecting poor relations from poorly managed economies! In my country Latinos are treated as dirt and a murdering coward travelled 1000 miles from his home state to kill off migrants in El Paso.

Gbenga: And I daresay that the number of poor people is increasing by the minute all over the world. No stable economy in Africa. The Chinese treat us like filth. Trump doesn’t want to see us in God’s own country!

Giuseppe: Is that not a cause for worry? America that was founded by migrants now rejects immigrants. All kinds of conditionalities are being created to make it impossible for the displaced and dispossessed to enter America.

Emeka: And the politicians are taking a cue by building far right coalitions to kill migrations! As for me and my people, the world is our village and anywhere there is trading be sure that we shall find our way there!

Gbenga: Is that why you peddle drugs all over the world?

Emeka: Excuse me, what did you say? That we peddle drugs all over the world and we should be killed in South Africa? Such ignorance!

Chimurenga: Nigerians and other Africans who were massacred in South Africa were traders. Poor and ignorant black South Africans sadly believe that chasing away fellow Africans would create jobs for them!

Ubuntu: What percentage of the economy is in the hands of black migrants? These are poor migrants trying to make ends meet.

Chimurenga: Seventy-five percentage of the economy is in the hands of a few white people. Meanwhile, the ANC-led government has become inept and very African in management techniques.

Emeka: See how long it took the South African police to intervene. Looks like they stood aside and let the looting go on for a while before taking any actions.

Gbenga: Somebody was enjoying the spectacle.

Ubuntu: See what it has led to. Nigeria has recalled its High Commissioner to south Africa. Shoprite outlets in Nigeria were looted in retaliation.

Emeka: In ignorance! South Africa does not own the shops in the Shoprite malls. They are run by ordinary Nigerians. Giuseppe: Ignorance on both sides. Youths seem to be disconnected with the factual realities on the ground.

Ubuntu: They have been left out of the economy and the brave new world.

Emeka: The government failed the people, failed Africa and failed all migrants.

Gbenga: If the white minority were in power, they would have been able to manage things better.

Ubuntu: That’s the tenor that this discourse should not entertain! Return of the whites to power to salvage black people.

Emeka: It is sad that the prevailing circumstances have made us yearn for white leadership.

Chimurenga: Rwanda is not led by white people.

Gbenga: How many other examples can we cite, how many?

Chimurenga: Nyerere was not a white man. Nkrumah started well too!

Ubuntu: We must learn to accommodate everyone.

Emeka: I am afraid that is impossible. Even the bible makes a separation between sheep and goats. Heaven cannot accommodate everyone.

Gbenga: All nations should start making their countries stable and comfortable for their citizens.

Giuseppe: That is the way to go. Some migrants become a menace to their hosts by becoming thieves and fraudsters.

Tom: There are some migrants that have positively impacted their societies by acts of bravery, sports and intelligence. For example, in spite of demonizing Nigerians in America, as a group, they are the most educated with college degrees up to PhD level. They are known for their industry and hard work.

Giuseppe: And their criminality too!

Tom: Just like Italians who imported organised crime to America through migration. It doesn’t make all Italian-Americans criminals!

Ubuntu: Exactly; it doesn’t.

Chimurenga: There are thousands of Nigerian, Zimbabweans and other migrants who make an honest living in South Africa. Let’s not do ethnic profiling on account of one bad egg!

Gbenga: The AU kept quiet like a lame dog, watching to see what would happen.

Chimurenga: Not so bad. They took steps: they called for calm! I’m laughing in Swahili!

Ubuntu: It is not a laughing matter.

Tom: The bottom line is that all regions of the world should become buoyant and stable politically. Nobody should be forced to migrate because of government ineptitude or corruption.

Emeka: What would I be doing in South Africa if my country had enough infrastructure to support my trading business? I would sit in Aba or Enugu and make the Chinese come look for me.

Chimurenga: By the way why should any foreign government take the lives of Nigerian citizens seriously when hundreds are killed weekly by herdsmen and kidnappers and nothing is done to punish the offenders?

Gbenga: That’s our internal matter. Leave us to deal with it. If you guys kill Nigerians or other migrants, we shall be forced to kill any South African migrants in our countries.

Ubuntu: Whatever it is, we must not kill ourselves. Citizens lives should be respected by governments and citizens.

-Professor Hope Eghagha writes from the University of Lagos

-The Guardian

 


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