“Xenophobia will end. We just have to play our role in it, it's our responsibility as young people to do so. It is our struggle too, for a better and united Africa.”
SOUND THE CALL TO COME TOGETHER, SO UNITED WE SHALL STAND
BY ZANELE MABASO (@Zanelemabaso23 - Twitter)
I am a South African and I have been a foreigner in USA, Germany, United Emirates and Africa but never were my rights as a human being violated in any manner, and never during any of my other travels abroad have I experienced discrimination or hatred of any kind, but rather was welcomed by friendly global staff and citizens who treated me and other fellow travels travelling in foreign lands with the highest of respect which made me walk on foreign soil with integrity and dignity - fully experiencing the anointment of freedom, as passed on to us by our forefathers.
During my last visit to New York when the xenophobia outbreak was at it’s peak and watching the television to realise that it made headlines on every channel where people around the world expressed their disapproval and condemnation of the violent, brutal and fatal actions bestowed on their fellow friends, families and citizens of their respective countries. Witnessing the visual collections of the incidents as they took place only left me disappointed and perplexed by the hate and unbelievable measures another human being can undertake to cause harm to another. Being born and raised in KwaZulu Natal, the province known as “the garden province” and “Place for the Zulu” as the majority population and language of the province is Zulu, due to it being the only province in South Africa that has the name of its dominant ethnic group as part of its name. I could not stop thinking about the fact that KwaZulu Natal is a province embedded with rich history; which is the birthplace of many notable figures in South Africa’s history, such as Albert Luthuli, the first African and the first person from outside Europe and the Americas to be awarded the Noble Peace Prize; Pixley ka Isaka Seme the founder of the African National Congress (ANC) and South Africa’s first black lawyer; John Langalibalele Dube, the ANC’s founding president; Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP); Anton Lembede, the founding president of the ANC Youth League; Jacob Zuma, the current President of South Africa; and Bhambatha, a 19th-century Zulu chief who became an anti-apartheid icon. It is also a place recognised for it’s booming tourism where all South African’s plan their vacation to enjoy its warm beaches in the coast, the Internationally recognised Drakensberg Mountains and friendly residents. Lest we forget.
But now hereon due to the actions in the past few weeks, Kwazulu Natal’s draft history has been officially revised and it is disappointing that it will too be remembered as the place where the xenophobia and said acrophobic attacks reigned. A place where our fellow brothers and sisters across boarders were inhumanly massacred, murdered and torched, slaughtered and stabbed on the busy streets in the full view of unbothered residents, to their death. I felt embarrassed to be associated with the country South Africa, yet one of many who were still proud be amongst those that not only pioneered the end to the xenophobic attacks on our fellow Africa brothers and sisters, but spoke about the good and positive things South Africa has done and is trying to do to combat the violent criminal acts done by only a selected few citizens due to misunderstandings occupied with selfishness and greed, where money i the for of non-existing opportunity was a factor.
I was consulted by concerned global and national citizens, most of them being young people. Voicing out their disappointment in the ongoing violence in the countries popular province, and together we collaborated with the aim to resolute a plan of action, in mobilising young people in South Africa and across the African continent to raise awareness on the acrophobic attacks with an attempt to change people’s mindset on their unbecoming social behaviour as we knew that such violence, if not stopped will not only get out of hand with more people dying in the hands of their fellow black people, but it would lead to an Africa which is at war with it’s self, and that, would take more than a decade if not century to resolve. Thus action towards change, had to begin, and it had to begin fast.
We mobilised ourselves amongst Civil Society where different organisations across the country too mobilised women and children, young people, public servants and officials, the private and public sectors who not only marched against Africans killing other Africans all due to great misunderstanding accompanied with anger, but to raise awareness on all forms of media communications, broadcasting the Africa Africans should strive to see and become, this done whilst many others drafted proposals for public attention on recommendations on interventions that need to be prioritised to ensure that such incidents are controlled on all costs and are to never be heard of again.
I have more friends, colleagues, allies and family living in different countries around the world than in my own country. Somewhere in the world right now, some one is a foreigner there and that person is being treated family and with respect as though they were a citizen of that country, South African citizens who have initiated the xenophobic attacks in different parts of the country have a lot to learn. We still have a long way to go and each global citizen has a role to play.
I thus reiterate our national anthem to the people of South Africa and pledge our fellow Africans and National citizens to hear the sounds of calls to come together so united we shall stand, let us live and strive for freedom in South Africa our land. A man or woman from any country around the world irrespective of race, social class, economic status, political stance, religion or origin is my brother and sister. We were together in the past when our leaders called for freedom; freedom came, let us practice our liberty respectfully, for the sake of the safety, health and prosperity of our current generation and the next generations to come. Masisukumeni Sakhe Sonke, Let us stand up and build together. Africa Unite!