Xenophobia – A General Observation
In the community where I live there are two distinct groups of local people – those who oppose the influx of foreign people, and those who are victims effected by of our country’s shame – Xenophobia.
There are of course those in the community who feel indifferent, or accept the foreigners. My personal view is that we are all brothers and sisters, Africans, and that borders (in an ideal world), should not exist. We should help our neighbors where we can, and live together in harmony.
I also believe that Xenophobia is incited by political means, but that is just my humble outlook.
But everyone is entitled to my opinion. Sorry – I mean their opinion.
Xenophobia is, in most cases, provoked by hate and the intolerance of people who are not of the same culture. Rife unemployment and poverty in our country specifically flame the fear of ‘not enough for everyone’.
What I hear from everyone I’ve spoken to is the “They take our jobs” line. Is this the only reason and why is that, if it is true?
Why is it that if some of us were given the choice, would rather employ Malawians, for example? Is it because the majority of them are honest, hardworking people with low-maintenance? By low-maintenance I mean – getting on with the job.
Is it because some of us abuse them by paying them a pittance, knowing that they desperately need the money to send home to their impoverished families in another country?
We’ve got to look at our motivations for employing people from outside our borders and when we do use them, at least have some integrity in the way we deal with them.
A Foreigner’s View
I’ve spoken to several foreigners in our community and the following two points stood out:
- Our country is poor and our people are dying of starvation, we need to work hard to send them some money.
- South Africa has economical investments in our country and makes a lot of money – for instance a bus service that operates in our country and derives copious amounts of money from our people.
Everything is not black and white. I reckon we should give everyone a fair chance. Start with our local people, and if that does not work out – find a foreigner living in our country and employ him or her. Integrity starts at home.