While Nigerians are working hard to come out of that phase, xenophobia became a word they had to hear every time. It is confounding that Nigerians in South Africa have to face this kind of tragedy even though they are Africans like their persecutors.
Xenophobia has become the second popular word for Nigerians after recession. It is horrifying for one to think that Nigerians who have hone in search of greener pastures are now being hunted and attacked in inhuman ways.
Nigerians at home are living in apprehension without knowing the extent of the torture their loved ones are being made to bear.
Nigerian who has stayed in South Africa for many years in a bid to know the real situation of things. The conversation shed light on the issue and it is hoped that Nigerians will have a better clue on the things going on.
The conversation which lasted for more than thirty minutes brought our attention to many issues; the fact that it was given by someone who has lived the most part of his life in the country made it more reliable.
The instances that will be sighted along with the provided reasons will perhaps give you more reasons to agree and know the true state of things.
Find some of the discussed points below:
1. The media has blown things out of proportion
The impression most people have about the xenophobic attacks is that Nigerians are being killed and wounded at every corner.
Our contact in South Africa made us understand that although things are happening in the country, many Nigerians are still going actively about their businesses.
He said the facts are being exaggerated out of proportion; it would be nice if the media reported things the way they are without necessarily spicing the events up to make a juicy read.
2. The South Africans attacking Nigerians are illiterate
Our correspondent at NAIJ.com was made to understand that the xenophobic attacks are being carried out by the illiterates in the society.
Thugs are using the opportunity to churn out their evil acts and hide under this ugly event. Our contact likened the situation at hand to that which is happening in his home country, Nigeria.
The Boko Haram terrorists terrifying Nigerians in the northern part of the country are being brainwashed the same way the xenophobic attackers are under some delusional spell.
If not, what would make a reasonable person concede to blowing up himself and killing hundreds of people with him? The Nigerians being attacked in the xenophobic attacks might have walked into an environment oblivious of the impertinent danger lurking at the corners.
3. Xenophobic attacks are not everywhere
The image painted by the media on xenophobic attacks is gory. Nigerians at home think their loved ones are at risk of being killed at every corner. We were made to understand that although the danger is real, some areas are considered to be high-risk areas.
Pretoria was specifically mentioned to be a danger zone as there are lots of things going down at the city.
Nigerians are advised to steer clear of the area and places that have recorded violence based on these attacks. The northern part of the country was also said to be unsafe for the time being.
4. Not everyone is being attacked
Our contact in South Africa laid more emphasis on this point in order to quell the fears of many Nigerians at home. Some Nigerians are safe and are not at risk of being attacked. Those living in the southern part of the country are doing well and are moving on with their lives.
He urged those at home to put the Nigerians living in the danger zone in their prayers. Again, he also used Lagos as an example when he said people living in Lagos may not really know what is going on in Maiduguri because they basically rely on the news to connect with people there.
Lagos is bubbling as usual because there are no attacks. NAIJ.com correspondent was also told that foreigners may have the impression that Nigeria is unsafe because of the propelled news on terrorism that they keep hearing.
5. Caution is needed
Despite the tone of the conversation we had with the Nigerian in South Africa, he kept laying emphasis on the word caution. It is important for Nigerians living in South Africa to be on guard always. Walking with one’s ears opened is reasonable with the things going on.
The same way Nigerians have identified the dangerous areas in their cities and towns, Nigerians over there are being advised to be careful. Some areas should not be visited alone and they should learn to stay under cover.
Our contact made us know that some Nigerians have lived the most part of their lives there; they have invested in the country’s economy and may not be able to pull out.
Again, Borno state comes to mind. There are some Nigerians living there even though the villages and towns are often visited by the terrorists.
6. Every country has its issues
Nigerians at home are being asked not to panic. As serious as these attacks are, they can only help with their prayers and support.
The killing in Southern Kaduna is a pressing issue for Nigeria, the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians is also an issue that will have to be worked on by the South African government. Our contact said one could only hope that the sick attackers will receive restitution for their souls and stop the attack.
The educated sect in South Africa knows that an attack like this can destroy future relations with Nigeria in terms of trade and business development. It is hoped that things will go back to normal soon.
When being asked about the causes of the attack, several points were being raised. They were basically in line with the reasons mentioned here. Emphasis was laid on South African men who are embittered about Nigerian men taking their women.
South African men women prefer going for Nigerian men who are finer and more caring. Remember that the xenophobic attackers are basically people who are illiterates or semi-illiterates.
A brawl could start from the realization that a woman they have chased all their lives is interested in being with a Nigerian. With this analysis, Nigerians should know better and do the right thing.
If things are different from your angle, feel free to share with us. The video below shows what is going down in South Africa: