It’s no secret that few weeks ago, there was an uproar in the continent due to South Africans killing
fellow Africans foreigners in their country. Most of them blamed other Africans for taking jobs and all the great things in their country even though we know which race they should really be upset with (that’s not to say they should kill them either though).
For a country that need the help of a lot of African countries during the apartheid period, it’s a shock that they will react this way which leads us to believe that the South Africans today do not know their history which is the case with a lot of African countries. In America, right from primary school they are taught their history, civil rights movements, founding fathers and more. This was they have a full grasp of how their nation came to be, on this side of the continent this seems to be missing.
It’s particularly sad and worrying that South Africa would attack Nigerians especially as we were instrumental to their freedom. Do they know (and even Nigerians) that:
- Nigeria was one of the foremost supporters of the anti-apartheid movement.
- The Nigerian government issued more than 300 passports to South Africans living abroad.
- Nigeria was the first country to provide financial aid to the African National Congress (the party that is still ruling in South Africa).
- In the 1970s, Nigeria supported the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) with an annual subvention of $5 million to help them in the struggle.
- When General Obasanjo was President he made a personal donation of $3,000, while each member of his cabinet also made personal contributions of $1,500 each. Nigerian civil servants and public officers made a 2% donation from their monthly salary to the SAFR (South Africa Relief Fund). Students skipped their lunch to make donations, and just in 6 months, in June 1977, the popular contribution to the fund reached $10.5 million. This was called the Mandela tax
- South Africans enjoyed free education in Nigeria
- Nigeria refused to sell oil to South Africa for decades in protest against the white minority rule. As a result, Nigeria had lost approximately $41 billion during that period.
- From 1960 to 1995, Nigeria spent over $61 billion to support the end of apartheid. This was more than any other country in the world, according to the South African Institute of International Affairs.
- Thambo Mbeki lived in Nigeria
- Olusegun Obasanjo nationalized British Petroleum as payback for Britain continually supplying oil to South Africa.
You would think that with all this, there would be alot of love between both countries but alas this is not the case. We hope South Africans can get past the apartheid damage that is clearly still hunting them and move forward.
As an aside, isn’t it interesting and sad to see how great Nigeria was and how far we have spiralled since the 1960s.
What are your thoughts on the Xenophobia situation