A warning for South Africans
I would appreciate them in helping us as well to address the belief our people have and the reality that there are many persons from Nigeria dealing in drugs in our country” –Dr. Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor, South African Minister of International Relations.
Is this the sort of thing that ought to be said by the South African Government when we are still in mourning and when we have not even buried our compatriots that were cruelly slain, bludgeoned to death and cut to pieces in the streets of South Africa?
At a time when this mendacious person that calls herself the Foreign Minister of South Africa should be apologising to the Nigerian people for the mindless savagery and barbarity of her blood-crazed compatriots, she is pointing accusing fingers at their victims and the objects of their collective hate and seeking to demonise them. What have we done to deserve this? First you kill us, then, you seek to justify it and criminalise us!
Does this Foreign Minister really believe that innocent Nigerian men, women and children should be butchered at will in the streets of South Africa by bloodthirsty and bestial mobs?
Worse still does she think it is right and proper that this is done with the full endorsement and support of both the South African Government and police? Is that the way forward? Is that the way to build bridges in Africa and enhance peace and stability on the continent?
Can such behaviour be justified or defended under any circumstances? What would she do or think, if the Nigerian government and people decided to reciprocate and mete out the same treatment to South Africans that reside in Nigeria and South African companies that are situated here?
In any case, how many of those that were butchered over the years were drug dealers? If it is true that as many Nigerians deal in drugs as she has suggested, why can’t the South African government apprehend, prosecute and send them to jail, rather than demonise, misrepresent, target and kill innocent and defenceless Nigerians?
This is a clear case of racial stereotyping and a squalid and shameful attempt to justify hate, racism, xenophobia, self-hate, black on black violence and mass murder. Permit me to educate the South African Foreign Minister and to set the record straight.
There are thousands of Nigerian professionals, academics, lecturers, intellectuals, businessmen, teachers, scientists, engineers and doctors in your country working hard, doing a great job and contributing massively to your development and economy.
The fact that your people hate Nigerians and enjoy killing us has nothing to do with drugs, human-trafficking or drug-trafficking. It is because your people are hateful, ignorant, xenophobic, lazy, racist and envious of ours.
And the few irresponsible Nigerians that go to South Africa and indulge in terrible and unforgivable crimes like drug and human-trafficking and gang-related violence do so only because your people have a terrible weakness, an undue fascination and an insatiable appetite for hard drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, men and women of easy virtue and the dark, ugly and wild side of life.
It is, therefore, not surprising that South Africa has, for the better part of the last 25 years, been described as the “world’s capital for homicide” and the country with the “highest number of people that have been afflicted with HIV AIDS!”
Rather than work hard, like their Nigerians counterparts, South Africans prefer to go to sleazy and cheap nightclubs, to gamble on gaming machines and poker tables, to drink huge amounts of beer, to take massive amounts of hard drugs and to stay at home, watch television and sleep. They are not particularly good at anything except singing beautiful songs and killing their fellow Africans.
It is for this singular reason that their women love and respect Nigerian men and have nothing but contempt for their own. Generally-speaking, Nigerian men are strong, productive, virile, focused, courageous, industrious, adventurous and hard-working with a touch of arrogance and they excel in all their ways. Sadly, the average South African male does not possess these virtues or qualities.
It does not stop there. For the better part of the last 50 years Nigeria has been the major military and economic power in Africa and we have used our wealth, power and influence wisely and expeditiously to the advantage of many countries on the continent.
For example, had it not been for us the minority white Boers would still be ruling over the black South Africans and apartheid would still have been firmly in place.
We nationalised British Petroleum and Barclays Bank, because of them in the late 1970’s and thereby compelled the British to accept our demand of black majority rule in South Africa and Zimbabwe and to stop supporting apartheid and white minority governments.
We are far ahead of South Africa in terms of education and virtually every other sphere of human endeavour and we have opened up our country for them to come and invest in without any pre-conditions, obstacles or trade barriers.
Today, Nigeria is by far the biggest market for their expertise, products, goods and services and if that market were to ever be closed to them or if their companies were nationalized, it would affect their economy enormously.
The truth is that they benefit far more from and make far more money from us today than we benefit and make money from them.
In a trade war, they have far more to lose than we do because not that many Nigerian companies have invested heavily in and operate in South Africa, while many South African companies have invested heavily and operate in Nigeria.
As a matter of fact some of those companies make more money from the Nigerian market and their Nigerian operations than they do in the whole of the rest of Africa put together.
That is what we have offered and given them and yet they have offered and given us next to nothing in return. All we get from them are insults, violence and heartache!
Historically and in every other way, they are very much our juniors. Our people were educated at Oxford, Cambridge and the very best universities in the world since 1860. South African blacks never went to a real university until the 1990’s after aparthied fell.
We have liberated and brought peace, justice and stability to many African countries and been a blessing to the African continent for many decades despite our present challenges.
Whether it be Angola, Mozambique, Congo, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Chad, Niger and so many others, we were there in full force with our money, our resources, our arms, our logistical support, our oil, our economic concessions, our aid and in some cases our troops.
We shed blood and our blood was shed for other African countries over the years yet, all we get in return are insults.
If you say Nigerians are drug pushers and human traffickers, then, I will say that South Africans are losers, racists, drop-outs, failures and genocidal maniacs.
Worse still, had the white Boers not built up South Africa, it would still be a barren land and the black population would still be nothing but slaves that live in filthy and squalid little townships.
Despite all the razzmatazz and great public relations about being a happy and prosperous “rainbow nation” where everyone is so happy and is treated so well, the truth is that South Africa remains a country with a black body and a white head. I say this because even though political control and leadership has been ceded to the blacks, 80 per cent of the multinational corporations, big business, industry, the private sector and the economy and 90 per cent of the choicest land, the biggest farms and the best farmlands still remain in the hands of the white Boer minority. Given this, is it any wonder that black South Africans are literally going mad and are deeply frustrated and filled with hatred and bitterness?
They have nothing and, unlike in the days of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki (all great and inspiring men of strength, courage, wisdom, conviction and profound wisdom) other than a handful of new political leaders who are essentially corrupt, weak, fearful, divided, conflicted and uninspiring token niggers and Uncle Toms (with the possible exception of a bright, courageous and rising young star by the name of Julius Malema), their prospects of ever amounting to anything over the next 100 years is very dim.
The real power still resides in the hands of the minority white Boers and the prospects for a prosperous and bright future lies heavily in their favour at the expense of the majority blacks.
If only the South Africans knew and remembered their history and considered ours they would be praying for Nigeria and thanking us every day rather than insulting and killing us. Without our support and the pressure we brought to bear, the great Nelson Mandela may never have been freed and the ANC and its armed wing (Siswe Muk…) would not have received the massive and robust funding and support that it did throughout the 1960›s, 1970›s and 1980›s.
Together with the Cubans and the Libyans, Nigeria did more for the liberation of South Africa and South African majority rule than any other nation in the world.
What the South Africans are doing to Nigerians today makes me regret the fact that we did so much for them in the past.
They have repaid our good with evil and consequently evil will never leave their doorstep. They have shed our blood for no just cause and the heavens will respond and avenge us. They have made us weep and shed tears for our compatriots and for this they shall pay a heavy price!
The South African Foreign Minister and those that share her racist and deplorable disposition and xenophobic views should consider these facts and the implications of her words and actions before she ventures to open her fat, ugly and very undiplomatic mouth to speak untruths and garbage about Nigeria and Nigerians again.
Failing to do so may provoke a series of cataclysmic events and unpredictable and harsh reprisals which would result in the final demystification and total humiliation of the «rainbow nation» and the painful and everlasting disgrace of its people.
Make no mistake about it, even a Nigeria in her weakened state and with all her challenges is still big and strong enough to bring South Africa to its knees.
And if the killing and mass murder of our people does not stop that is precisely what we shall do. A word is enough for the wise.
Permit me to conclude this contribution with the following: Many years ago, in the early to mid-1970›s, when apartheid was alive and well in South Africa and when I was a young student at Harrow, which undoubtedly remains the best private school in England, I broke the jaw of a blond, blue-eyed English-speaking white South African fellow student who said some very nasty things about black South Africans during a history class.
During a heated debate about racial segregation and the South African Mixed Race Act which made it a criminal offence for blacks and whites to get married or have sexual relations, he got up and said, before the entire class, that «allowing those dirty black dogs to touch our beautiful and pure white women is sacrilege. It is against the laws of God! It is like getting a monkey to mate with a human being!»
Finally, he said «no sane white woman would ever want to have sex with a black African monkey and any of them that do should be sent to jail.”
I reacted swiftly and without any hesitation. Without any warning or even words of anger, I left my desk, walked up to him and broke his jaw with one clean blow from my right fist. He never knew what hit him!
I remember hearing and enjoying the way his jaw popped open and cracked. It was a strange noise and as he hit the floor his legs started to shake uncontrollably after which he lost consciousness.
For one horrendous moment I thought I had killed him but thankfully eventually his eyes opened, he sat up and he was rushed to the hospital on a stretcher.
He hailed from one of the biggest and richest white families in South Africa who were (and still are) in the diamond mining business. I almost got expelled from Harrow for my «wild and unruly» behaviour until I gave my reasons for hitting him to the school authorities.
They were shocked and equally appalled by what he had said, which they rightly regarded as a grave and reckless provocation, and they decided to let me off the hook.
I was reprimanded and warned and I remember that the Headmaster wrote a formal letter about the incident to my father who was livid with me for jeopardising my entire academic career simply because of a racial slight and slur.
Papa said «you didn›t have to hit him and almost kill the poor boy: you could have just attempted to educate him in a civilised manner and at the worst insult him back!»
Yet, I had no regrets or remorse about my course of action or the choice that I made and to my eternal credit I never apologised for my action to the South African, the school authorities, my father or anyone else.
The truth is that I was proud of what I did and I believed that defending the honor of my black South African colleagues was far more important than staying at Harrow. I was prepared to risk it all by physically assaulting the white boy and I did it with relish.
My gamble paid off and the South African boy, as sober as ever, never insulted or spoke ill of blacks again in my presence.
As a matter of fact, we ended up becoming friends in the following years and I will never forget what he told me just before we left Harrow in 1977. I remember the words because I wrote them down at the time and have meditated on them for years. He said «you don›t understand the Bantus» (meaning black South Africans).
He went on to say «the day they get power in South Africa is the day that South Africa will begin to die. Since the 17th century, we Boers built up everything there and they contributed nothing. We fought the Zulus and later the British and we built and developed that land with our flesh, sweat and blood. Giving a country like South Africa to them is like giving a monkey a loaded gun. They will use it to kill everyone around them and eventually they will kill themselves. They are not like you Nigerians: they have no history or class. They are unenlightened, ungrateful, primitive, uncouth and very backward and one day the rest of Africa will know them for what they are!»
Judging from the words of the South African Foreign Minister and the xenophobic and racist disposition of the South African president, government and people, it appears that that day has finally come.
Fani-Kayode is a former Minister of Aviation