SOUTH AFRICA THREATENS AFRICA’S UNITY – By Anago James Akeem Osho
The lesson I have learnt from the South African Xenophobic disease is that it is disastrous not to teach history, I mean real history in schools and at home to our children.
I remember that we read the book SIZWE BANSI IS DEAD in junior high school. The book is all about the pain and struggle of Black South Africans during apartheid. It was a deliberate effort by the Nigerian government for us to learn about what our “brothers and sisters” are going through in South Africa. I still have a copy of the book. As a student of history, the memory drew the line and I knew who the enemy was as at that time.
Is the enemy that time still the enemy today? Who do we blame for the atrocities committed by Africans against fellow Africans in South Africa? I wonder if Black South Africans especially the youths still remembers that they live and own South Africa (according to the constitution) with the Boers, English, Indians, Chinese, Jews etc.
What if rain refused to fall in the rainbow country and other groups ganged up and reinvent apartheid in another form, who will come to the rescue of Black South Africans.
As much as people respect Nelson Mandela, I am not from the school of thought. Growing up, I only know of a woman named Winnie, who was mobilizing and shouting “Amandla! Mandela!”. He, Mandela was in prison and this woman kept the light alive with her supporters in S.A, from Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Congo and in fact from elsewhere in Africa. They all supported their Black Brothers from S.A.
I remember my late dad was always talking about the ANC party with passion, and yet that country is far away at the extreme end of the African continent but brotherly love was exhibited.
In the ’80s, Nigerian musician and superstar Late Sunny Okosun released an album for South Africa to sensitize the world about what was going on there to put an end to apartheid. Today, I wonder how my dad will feel, and how sunny Okosun will feel to know that the people they see as families are today killing and maiming their families.
Nelson Mandela eventually became free and everyone saw hope in him and he became the president of South Africa to fulfill his ambition but to really achieve his aim, there was a condition. The condition was to divorce the woman who was his light and voice while he was in prison.
Nelson Mandela made a name for himself in world history but did not transition the Black people of South Africa to really be independent and history in schools was as it used to be. Schools became mixed but Black children were not taught about who they are and their past. History is for us to learn from so that we do not make the same old mistakes.
The fear is that as much as Africans love the people of South Africa, and they are showing otherwise, what will become of South Africa’s Black when other races in South Africa pounce on them as they have done before.
Could there be more to xenophobia than we know? Time will tell. The unity of Africa is threatened by South Africa’s Xenophobia attacks.