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Xenophobia, a reflection of African misculture


Goodwill Zwelithini,SIR: The sudden belief by South Africans that killing of black foreigners in their country is the answer to their challenge of unemployment is a problem of “social misculture”.

How did they arrive at that? Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, had said it openly that African foreigners should leave the country for their citizens to get jobs, as he claimed to be defending South Africans as his progenitors did.

Another self-acclaimed leader of the wild killing, who identified himself as Sergeant Mabutubutu Masekosuma Kongugu, sent out a wild broadcast, justifying his actions and promising to do more.

In the video, he ranted, “you don’t know how we survive! You don’t know what it is for a fellow black person to be here unemployed”. Both the king and the Sergeant have same reason for the poverty in the land.

But let’s come back to employment. Can it actually be justified that immigrants cause unemployment in South Africa? It is unjustifiable because there is no country in the world, even the largest industrial economies, which doesn’t have its own share of unemployment.

If the statistics are taken of the number of unemployed indigenes in South Africa, it would obviously be more than the number of migrant workers.

Many migrants even have no job in South Africa. Getting a job anywhere today is competitive, especially now that higher skills and intellectual commitment are demanded for jobs that used to be “ordinary”.

It takes greater skills of brand representation and customer service to even sell at a super store today unlike in the 1980s. Can it be true that job hirers are preferring foreigners? Is it because of their skills and commitment against the locals? These are some fundamental questions that arise. Whichever way it goes, the indigenes should ordinarily have the advantage over foreigners, not even just because of their language.

In all of these, if they are still disadvantaged at competing for job preferences, then killing of other nationals cannot be an answer to the problem, but looking inwards to address the confidence crisis the job hirers see in them.

The problem goes further into what exactly we called education, how do we define philosophy of life for children in Africa? How do we make them value life, how do we teach them to understand and appreciate mutual co-existence and healthy social competition?

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