As shared to me by my South African girlfriend this morning. She said this sums up a lot, and there needs to be a difficult conversation had about this situation. But who will lead it? Without a conversation, there will be eruptions that will rock the continent.
“I know the SA thing is paining you as you say, also me too. But please hear my perspective:
I have lived in SA for almost 20 years.
What you see as pure xenophobia is actually community Vigilantism gone wrong or hijacked by criminals.
Some of the shops looted and destroyed are actually covers for a serious crime.
Some of our brothers take over entire areas and turn them into drug markets. But because the law in SA does not allow police to arrest criminals unless with evidence or unless shot at, so what happens is the drug guys hide these drugs in shops, restaurants etc and use as a face.
There are up to 30 public “drug” markets in Joburg alone. These are areas where 50 to 200 Nigerians converge on street corners to sell drugs. That’s just in Johannesburg, and excludes other places.
The community knows and they try to inform the police. Sometimes these guys get arrested and bribe their way out when it fails the community takes laws into their hands.
Nigerians are not being targeted per se. The target is street drug dealers and yahoo boys who are mostly Nigerian.
Personally, in an area of Johannesburg, some years ago, drug dealers almost took over my property. We bought it and in the process of renovation, they invaded it and turned it into a drug hotel. It took God to evict them without being killed. It was led by Nigerians. In that property, there were families with women and children.
One strategy of selling drugs is to befriend young secondary school. Girls and introduce them. They get hooked and they start stealing and prostitution to feed the habit. Soon the entire area deteriorates.
Now, why I am sharing this with you is that the drug dealers are distracting attention. They are trying to make the Nigerian Government arise in anger and defend “Nigerians” ie defend drug dealers. If they succeed, they’d have staged a powerful coup. They’d have entered an official mafioso level, protected by Government.
So how can we accuse others of killing us when we are perpetrating it?
Those videos and pictures circulating of Nigerians in SA- how is it that we are shown only in the light of guys on the street? I know top Robotics engineers in SA, I know people in Top IT firms, developers, in Amazon, Google etc, I know top bankers, property company owners, many doctors, Superintendent of hospitals, professors, Pastors, etc.
So in summary here are my thoughts
- A vast majority of upright Nigerians in SA are very comfortable. They are doctors, teachers, business owners, etc. If we don’t get the right story, we can set off a diplomatic war, everything collapses and these guys become targets. Currently, they are not being targetted by anyone. many are married to South Africans. Some head Government agencies and private companies.
- Yes, there are some xenophobic South Africans, but just like we fought against stigmatizing Fulani, we must also fight against stigmatizing South Africans. There are VERY many good South Africans, who don’t buy into any form of oppression. Let us encourage our government to join with the South African Government and carry out a security raid on drug dealers.
If the Government announces this, you will see they will flee because they’ll know the cover is blown! xenophobic attacks will reduce 95%.
The biggest donation event in the history of SA was in 2007 when people gave to victims of xenophobic attacks. The amount given was a record. It shows that the nation is not buying into that mindset.
- Please use your powerful platform to create a voice for good Nigerians in SA. You will be surprised. Many are afraid to talk because even Nigerian organizations in SA are infiltrated and even controlled by drug dealers and kingpins. No one wants to be killed. These guys are very powerful.
- These same guys being paraded as Nigerians under attack are the same guys who HATE everything PMB stands for. If you visit their hag outs (we sometimes buy food there) and talk about Buhari, they can kill you, literarily. Why? because they hate what he stands for and they hate that he is saying we should become good citizens.
- Communities fighting to save themselves should not.be hushed but.helped to do it in a better way. Not jungle justice.
- Yes the SA Government must not also be left without responsibility in the matter, they should be tasked to step up their game too. While Nigeria targets drug dealers and yahoo buys, South Africa should target miscreants and criminals in a joint operation. SA Government also needs to purge bad eggs in its police force who are compromised. It Also needs to take its own share of blame for unemployment, poverty and economic challenges and social issues that allow drugs to be demanded.
I close with a prophecy by Pa Elton
“Africa is like a gun, Nigeria is like a trigger, South Africa is like a barrel
South Africa will be free. It will partner with Nigeria.
When that happens, Africa will arise and lead the world in many ways.”
This prophecy was given in the height of apartheid when it seemed impossible. Today it is half done South Africa has more bilateral agreements with Nigeria than any other nation on earth. We MUST NOT allow miscreants and criminals on both sides to hinder it, because if our national relationship fails, Africa will fail.
This is Buhari’s “Mandela” moment. Will he rise up and shake off the pain and anger and mobilize Africa to unify or will he take a position that reverses the building of unity? I think he will do the right thing by God’s grace, but I also believe publicizing the truth will help him and citizens.
I am open to discuss with you further on this matter, and if you feel the need to publish the above anonymously, please feel free. And if you want to do a tour to SA, I’ll host you and we can go out and do a strategic mapping. I’ll show you things that will make you see another perspective.
As shared on Facebook