RMD, AIFF and AFRIFF say no to xenophobia
It is not just the government or politicians that have spoken up against the unending xenophobia attack in South Africa. Most Nigerian screen celebrities and filmmakers have taken a stand, describing it as senseless and unacceptable. Notable actor Richard Mofe Damijo joined his colleagues across the country to condemn the attack by South Africans on foreigners, especially on Nigerians in South Africa. RMD as the actor is simply called, who revealed that he has vented about the Nigerian issue and on the xenophobic attacks by South Africans on his twitter handle took to his face book page to declare that for him, ‘ there is no sitting on the fence, no defense, no excuse’’.
RMD also wrote: ‘’I condemn the attack on foreigners, most especially Nigerians in South Africa. I demand that the Nigerian government stop pussyfooting and kick into tangible, measurable action to protect our brothers in Diaspora’’.
Also, organisers of the yearly Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF) and the Nigerian domiciled Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) have condemned in very strong terms the recent attack on Nigerians by South Africans. AFRIFF in a statement signed by the founder Chioma Ude said the festival condemns the act of violence, murder and wanton destruction of properties of foreigners in strong terms. Ude further stated that even though the festival has had a long standing relationship with some South African-based film institutions which has resulted in the exchange of ideas, films, filmmakers as well as financing and co-production opportunities, AFRIFF was ‘reviewing all the films submitted to the festival with the intention of expressly removing any film and banning any filmmaker from the festival that has positively expressed xenophobic ideas or any kind of bigotry.’’
Also reacting to the situation, founder and president of the Abuja International Film Festival Fidelis Duker said the festival unequivocally condemns the reoccurring xenophobic attacks. Consequently, Duker announced the ‘immediate suspension of all South African film entries’ submitted for the 16th edition of the festival scheduled to hold in Abuja as from October 22 to October 25.