Xenophobia In South Africa

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Nigerians are rightly outraged by the xenophobic attacks by some South African against Africans from other parts of the continent. The attacks bring shame to the country of Nelson Mandela. In condemning the attacks, there should not be the mistakenly belief that all South Africans are xenophobic – the xenophobes are the minority.

It is also justifiable for anyone to criticise the South African government for not doing enough to stem the tide of xenophobic attacks that first started in 2008 because if it had, xenophobic attacks will not be reoccurring. It will also be right to be critical of the South African media for their reportage of crimes involving Africans from other African countries that profiled such criminals by nationalities.
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One thing the government needs to do is to introduce History as a subject in high schools. Another issue for consideration is exchange programmes between education institutions in the countries and their counterparts in other African countries. These way South Africans from a young age will have a better understanding of the continent. In the same vein, Africans from other parts of the continent will have a better appreciation of South Africa and its…show more content…
Xenophobia is hatred of those considered as the "others" or foreigners. By this simple definition, xenophobia is pervasive in Nigeria. In this country, the "foreignness" is along religious and ethnic backgrounds as well as states of origin. Thus those born in a state which is not the state of origin of their parents are considered foreigners even when they have lived their whole life in that state. Consequently, they are discriminated against in employment and other areas. Besides Lagos where those from other ethnic backgrounds are in the state cabinet and state, most states only have those who are considered indigenes in their Houses of Assembly and cabinets. I doubt there is any state in Nigeria that has a senator or member in the House of Representatives who are not so called indigenes. This too is xenophobia.

Just as they are outraged about the xenophobia against Nigerians in other countries, Nigerians should be equally outraged by xenophobia within Nigeria, which is based on religious and ethnic lines. We cannot condemn xenophobia based on nationalities abroad while we are silent about xenophobia based on religion and ethnicity at home,
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