Monday, 4 May 2015


Human beings are jealous beings by nature, a trait I’m guessing, robbed off their creator (Who said without mincing words, ‘I Am a jealous God’). Xenophobia’s history dates back to a very long time in human history, as traces of it can be isolated from biblical stories (like killing of Israelites male children in Egypt during their captive days because the Egyptians were afraid they would revolt someday).

Xenophobia exists, suppressed, guarded in every human being. There is always a repulsive force that curse within our subconscious on first meeting a foreigner. Denying this subtle fact is denying the human nature itself.

Xenophobia is not peculiar to South Africans as some people posit because of the spate of killings going on in the region. We have heard of people being attacked in various western worlds for no other reason than their skin colour. There was a time in Nigerian history when they insisted that their neighbours return to their country, an era that became engraved as the nomenclature of one of the commonly used traveller’s bag. This too is xenophobia. What is baffling is that skin colour is not the issue in South Africa and the heinous act is carried out by ‘brothers’ against ‘brothers’ who should on the contrary watch each other’s back. Yet still, I understand their genuine plight behind the bloody mask.

I happen to be fortunate (maybe not) to domicile in a state other than my state of origin. Born and brought up there doesn’t till date take away my foreign identity from the eyes of the natives. I am also not oblivious of the malign utterances made against my ethnic group such as (but not limited to);
“Dey dey pack our money,”
“Dey don buy our land finish,”
“One day we will deal with them,”
“Na so dem dey behave, very stupid set of people”.

Xenophobic attack is not tied to killings alone. Government policies where people from other states in the same country pay higher fees in schools or are levied higher taxes in their businesses is xenophobic. This is typical of Nigeria. This is Nigerians hating Nigerians on the basis of tribe. The so-called ‘ONE NIGERIA’!

Luckily enough, Nigerians are very pretentious and enduring people and with this behaviour we can keep pretending our way to peace. Sadly, we shouldn't expect every race or country to imitate us so easily in the face of glaring harsh realities.

This is in no way exonerating the senseless maiming of fellow human beings in cold blood and looting their treasury, their show-off for years of toil. There is a sharp attitudinal contrast I’ve over the years observed between indigenes and settlers. The latter nurse great zeal towards success and most verily put in their heart to their work while the former expect everything to come to them at the click of fingers because, ‘NA THEM GET THE LAND’ (You need to visit a government ministry to appreciate this fact). This is not actually the case because success sees hard work and not faces.

When the natives fail and the foreigners progress, the former conjure all sorts of savage excuses to boost their jealousy and justify their subsequent actions. The foreigners take blame for the natives’ failures.
At this junction, I’ll like to press some questions on the eyes of my South African friends clamouring that the foreigners have rendered them jobless;
  1)   Are you aware that your natives are in other countries and that your actions endanger their lives?
 2)   Will killing foreigners and ruining their businesses increase your chances of making wealth?
  3)  The jobs you are agitating for, 
i) Who created them? Natives or foreigners? 
ii) If natives, why would they prefer to hire a foreigner and not a native?

My little knowledge on entrepreneurship reveals to me that there are two things that would make a business owner not to employ the services of a job seeker and these are INCOMPETENCE and OVERPRICING. The first I guess is self-explanatory but the technical second has to do with ‘are your demands in pari passu with your estimated input?’ Employers will always seek a cheaper alternative.

That said, it is my humble opinion that South Africans seek to develop themselves with more studying and travelling to other countries (I would suggest an exchange programme between their schools and various other countries which will help their younger generation tolerate other cultures better) rather than venting their frustration on innocent souls.

Lastly, I appeal to Nigerians (and various other countries being attacked) not to be hasty in boycotting businesses in their country belonging to South African natives. Consider the massive unemployment this would create in a nation already raped sour by the brutal hands of unemployment. After all said and done, who gains?