Africa our beginning, our ending

05 September 2019 - 08:32
By the editorial
The continent is growing tired of our excuses and refuses to watch quietly while citizens of this continent get attacked, hounded out of their business and killed, the writer says
Image: Michał Barański\123rf The continent is growing tired of our excuses and refuses to watch quietly while citizens of this continent get attacked, hounded out of their business and killed, the writer says

The African continent is increasingly getting fed-up with us. Reports of South Africans attacking Africans from outside the borders of this country has caused a number of states to take action.

For years the continent has been patient with us, condemning acts of xenophobia whenever they flare up, without actually punishing SA for them.

Most of them seemed to understand that we were still a relatively young nation that was going through growing pains of instability and social upheavals.

They appreciated that decades of isolation from the rest of the continent due to the apartheid system, as well as the racist doctrine that taught locals that they were better than all other Africans north of the Limpopo River, had left most of us damaged and ignorant.

But the continent is growing tired of our excuses and refuses to watch quietly while citizens of this continent get attacked, hounded out of their business and killed simply because they do not hold South African passports.

The actions of Nigerian citizens who forced the closure of a number of South African businesses operating in the west African country must be seen in the context of this anger.

We should also not be surprised that Zambia, a country that stood by oppressed South Africans by becoming home to many of our exiles, cancelled a friendly game with Bafana Bafana in protest against xenophobic attacks.

All of this should be a warning to those of our compatriots engaged in xenophobic attacks that their actions will eventually lead to SA's isolation from the rest of the continent. And without the continent, our economy will suffer.

We are too small a country to stand on our own and need the rest of the continent to sell our goods and grow local companies.

Without access to African markets, a huge number of South African companies - who employ millions of locals, would simply shrink and be forced to cut jobs.

Out of our self-interest, we need to put an end to the violence and the Afrophobia that drives it. Turning our backs on the continent is not an option.

To paraphrase the late griot Ingoapele Madingoane: Africa is our beginning, Africa is our ending.