OPINION: Xenophobic attacks in South Africa crippling continental unity

OPINION: Xenophobic attacks in South Africa crippling continental unity

By Brian Oguna

The rising spate of xenophobic attacks in South Africa has triggered a myriad of angry reactions and emotions from netizens world over.

Nigeria, her citizens allegedly being the most affected or targeted, has since also reportedly begun retaliating with equal measure of brutality and violence in solidarity with her citizens in South Africa.

As the drums of vengeance keep beating vigorously in Nigeria, much introspection is needed to African citizens and their respective governments. This matter, if left unchecked or unbridled, may propagate Africa to a state of animosity never before witnessed and thrust sub-Sahara into a gulag.

Hate should never take the place of love, for there is no proper end game except death that is anticipated when blows are constantly countered by blows; deaths of individuals, States, dreams, values and of humanity.

Major world problems today – including hunger – stem from the adverse or extreme levels of wanton corruption, perjury, mass murders, religious intolerance, ignorance, disease, poverty and plunder.

South African citizens participating in these brutal acts of humanity need to quickly realize that they are not just killing ‘foreigners’ but their own Bantu brothers and sisters who are evenly spread across all parts of the continent.

They are killing mothers and fathers of innocent children whose only mistake was look for greener pastures away from their homes and settle down south in order to be able to fend for themselves and their families.

The mistake of perceiving, perhaps like most of us, that South Africa being the land of some of the continent’s greatest freedom fighters like Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela would be welcoming enough and understanding of their struggles.

Mandela, who was commonly also known as Tata, spent twenty seven years incarcerated for reasons humane and just. His fight, as with those of many other freedom fighters like him, was for the betterment and equality of humanity, especially the recognition of men and women of colour; what is happening in the country he left behind right now would make him cringe.

Some of the recent crop of emerging leaders from South Africa, like Julius Malema, are on record advocating for a united African front. One is however left only pondering at the possibility of this vision coming to fruition going by the current state of affairs. For how is a united African front possible when the few Africans down south are being hacked to death and others set ablaze by people of their own kind?

South Africans have gone against the natural laws of growth and expansion. Consequently, the eruption of the barbaric opprobrium from the south should only lead us to thoroughly reflect as Kenyans.

To reflect upon the lives we impact and upon the natures of leaders we elect based more on what they do and not merely say. Nobody, ladies and gentlemen, should ever purport to want the best for yourself than you would want it your own self.

That is to essentially say, that no one has the right to impose rules or laws that they think is best for you since the big decision on how you live life should come from you who builds the social fabric to a larger network of society.

It is always important to recognize the fact that any man, as good or bad as they may be, is a free being by divine ordination and that the key role of the government is to protect and to uphold law and order.

Thus, any welfare roles it plays outside the core should always be subjected to deeper scrutiny by subjects and more so, when life lived is in constant contradictions to what we profess as a nation.

Brian Oguna is a Founder at ‘Tunajifanyia’ and Director at BroCom.

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