The recent xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa has become a cause for serious concern – A South African man has taken to social media to lament after he suffered the effect of xenophobia from a Nigerian at a bar
– According to Jason, a Nigerian refused to sit with him to watch a football match after discovering he is from South Africa Following the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, a citizen of the country took to Facebook to lament after he faced hostility from a fellow African all the way in Japan. According to Jason Jetnarayan, he was in a pub in Tokyo to watch a football match and he spotted a man in a Manchester United jersey and approached him to share his seat, seeing as they support the same team. Noticing that the man was African, Jason asked where the man was from and discovered he was Nigerian. However, after revealing that he was from South Africa, the Nigerian became hostile and wanted to leave the bar just to avoid sitting with him.
The Nigerian explained that South Africans are not his brothers. Jason however revealed that he was able to convince the Nigerian not to leave the bar and that not all South Africans are bad or engage in xenophobia. He wrote: “Last night something happened that’s really bothered me. I wanted to use this platform to hopefully get a message across. I walk into a pub in Shibuya with a friend to watch the football. The pub is busy and there aren’t any seats available, but I look around and spot a black gentleman in a Manchester United jersey with open seats at his table. I approach him to let him know my friend and I are Manchester supporters too and ask permission to join him. He gives us his approval in an African accent. As a proud African myself I’m excited about this because Africans are rare here. So I ask him where he’s from, he says Nigeria and reciprocates the question. I extend my hand and excitedly tell him I’m South African. He doesn’t believe me until I prove it to him, showing him my ID as I beat my chest with pride. However, he doesn’t seem to share the sentiment by the look of it.
He’s visibly upset, and makes a statement about South Africans not being his brother. I immediately realise he’s referring to the xenophobic attacks that have unfortunately occurred in SA for the last decade, and only seems to be getting worse. I feel this sense of uneasiness, a sinking feeling in my chest. The pride I felt a moment ago as a South African sharply deteriorated into one of shame. I for one have never taken issue with immigrants in my country or any other. I am in no manner responsible for the xenophobic attacks in SA yet I apologise to the Nigerian gentleman as he gets up to leave the bar, having made the choice he would rather not be affiliated with a South African. I prevent him from leaving and profusely express my belief and disdain towards the people who commit these acts. Anyway, after a little back and forth I convince him that South Africans aren’t all bad. We give each other a hug and he leaves.
Never before have I felt to be so ashamed as I South African. It’s been turbulent times for South Africa of late. We’re failing our brothers and sisters in Africa, we’re failing our women, we’re failing our children. We need to be better. We need to fight for our people and speak out against atrocities committed on our land, or else we too are part of the problem. Let’s be the resolution.