Xenophobic Attacks: Evil, Demonic, Unacceptable But Could We Be Missing The Point In Our Apportioning Blame?

Cyril Ramaphosa, South African President / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

Opinion leader, Shosh, shares her feelings concerning the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Hello Nyakundi,

I am still haunted by the horror image of a human being set ablaze like trash and fellow human beings watching the movie without any human emotions.

My deep sympathies goes to the mother of the deceased robbed of her son in such a demonic way.

We have relatives in South Africa (SA) or Azania and so what is happening there affects us too. It affects the whole continent. It could be replicated in an even more horrifying way in any other country in Africa. It nearly happened in Nigeria when the citizens attacked the SA business centre as a revenge mission.


Now have South Africans just began to fear foreigners if that is what they are doing? If it was fear of foreigners would they attack or run away from them?

Is it purely because of the self-hate they learnt under the apartheid regime?

Was this what the late Nelson Mandela displayed in the years he was in the Robben Islands?

Would the South Africans have emancipated themselves if they hated themselves?

The South Africans I see roasting their fellow Africans, were either still not born when SA became free of the apartheid regime or they were toddlers. So did they learn this self-hate genetically from their parents?


If I just stood with the killers of fellow brothers, would they make me out? I speak English like they do and I am the colour of the Bantus living there.

Would they know I am not one of them? Certainly not until I spread my gunia on one of the pavements and started selling the famous South African grapes. It would not matter if they can also do the same job but they have chosen not to do it.

Their attitude to me changes.


The roasters of fellow Africans are not doing it because they hate the fellow brothers. No. They are angry for a reason but they cannot attack those who have annoyed them. So they displace their anger on fellow Africans from other countries. This happens in life. Since the pupil who has been caned cannot attack his teacher, he attacks his little brother.

The fellows I see in the streets roasting fellow brothers do not look like they left their jobs to simply look for tyres and petrol and watch a human being on fire. These are idle youth, majority of whom are men. Why are they idle?  They are unemployed though employable. Why is that?

From the internet this country endowed with mineral resources and agricultural crops has 28% of its 56 million unemployed. We are better off our rate is 9.3%!   Amongst the non-university graduates the rate is 50% Most of the University graduates can get jobs more easily than their non-graduates.

It is this unemployment scenario that is to blame for everything. The one thing that distinguishes us from animals is work. We are born to work. Without work we are dehumanized. We are animals. That is why we drag a fellow human being exposing his private parts and set him ablaze. And watch the movie.

The Bible says that he who does not work should not eat. What happens if we don’t eat? We die. And so whoever denies us a chance to work so that we do not  eat hands us a capital sentence. He is not a friend.

The attackers know this fact and since they cannot get at their enemy, they cannibalize their fellow Africans.

We all condemn the violence and vow to also retaliate by isolating SA and sending home all those SA Africans living in other African countries. One politician has suggested we boycott South African things like the GoTv. I ask is he going to buy me the non-South African one?

I mean are we seeing the enemy or the victim of the enemy’s misdeeds?

Who is supposed to provide employment for the hungry and angry South Africans?


Are other Africans such tourists they have to travel thousands of kilometers from West Africa and East Africa to live or work in South Africa?

How many University graduate Zimbabweans and Malawians have fled home to do menial jobs in South Africa? Is it that they like living away from home?

They go to South Africa to seek a means of livelihood which they cannot find at home. Of course a few are motivated by human greed to go and establish family businesses in South Africa. The greed shows up in this way: they take their kins to cook, sweep, etc for them. They don’t give back to fellow Africans.

And to tell unemployed youth they should be happy you are investing and paying taxes to their government is like telling them you are wearing a woolen jacket for them to feel warmth.


I heard the fiery Malema ask the South African youth to stop harassing their fellow blacks because even if they leave they will not get jobs. Why? That the White South Africans have refused to invest in South Africa to help get the Black South Africans jobs. I thought we should not be blaming the same people we blamed for economic marginalization two decades ago. Who rules South Africa? The white South Africans can do whatever they want with their wealth. What was the agreement when The Azanians took over? Did they agree that the former apartheid heads should continue running the economy from farms to Industries? Those who arrived there to find Africans in their God given land? Africans who did not know they were sitting on Gold and Diamond and Sheep and oranges and wheat and maize? If that was the agreement then let it be.

But sadly, images from the African countries that got independence from foreign masters before South Africa show that Africans struggle to rid themselves of their oppressor but as soon as that happens the leaders become oppressors to fellow Africans.

This is what is happening across Africa and South Africa may not be any exception.

Most African leaders become the saboteurs of their own economies thereby subjecting their people to abject poverty. They start by hiving out large chunks of land for themselves and their political cronies and sycophants. They also use any means to obtain national resources corruptly.

In essence they do little to show the difference in the Wananchi’s life between when they were under foreigners and now they are free. That is why you find Nigerians leave their country endowed with oil and good climate and land for growing crops to try their fortunes in South Africa. They are no tourists. They have to survive because that is our lot when we are alive.


The Ibo say that before you blame the mongoose for eating your hen, warn your hen against going to the bush. Simple, apt African wisdom.

Before they blame the desperate South African unemployed youth for engaging in such massacre against their citizens in South Africa, they should blame themselves for making home unlivable.

Home is home because we have food there. Without food we cannot eat the home and must go out and look for food. Unfortunately, we go looking for food where fellow ndugu are hungry. Like poles repel. And we do that.

Let our leaders think about the Azania violence as an African phenomenon that can be replicated anywhere else any time. Let them hold conferences with the many African non-political think tanks we have to produce an African solution to an African problem.

Mungu abariki Africa.

Signed: Shosh.



About the author

Karecha Kamaris

Karecha Kamaris is the space between earth and heaven, the gap between ice and fire, the elementary molecule that justifies unending peace in the sea of turmoil. An 'appetite for adventure over the love of ease'.

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