A Minister’s “Xenophobic Cry” and a Schoolboy’s Video Call to Unite

There has been an outpouring of poems, videos, messages and photos from people in and out of South Africa, desperate to express themselves, have their voice heard…and unite South Africa and Africa once again. Here are just two of the messages SAPeople has received – a video from a young white South African and a poem from a black Zambian…

Over 5,000 people marched in Durban's Peace March last week. Photo: Luca Barausse, www.lucaphotography.co.za
Over 5,000 people marched in Durban’s Peace March last week. Photo: Luca Barausse, www.lucaphotography.co.za

Benoni High School prefect, Forest Brett (18):

We are all foreigners to this world, no one owns it or has the right to say someone else is not allowed to live on it,” he told SAPeople. “I made the video because I’ve been in so many situations where fellow people in South Africa have helped me and shown the love and care I know. For instance, my car broke down on Friday night – I managed to get to a garage where there were three black guys whose car had also broken down.

“I looked at their engine and fixed it because I’m mechanically minded, and they phoned their friend to try organise a fan belt for me. They were going to drive from Benoni to Germiston to fetch one for me! This is just one of many situations I’ve been in…and so I made this video to try and re-ignite this love and care we know…to remind people that we have done it before and we can do it again!”

Xenophobic Cry…by (Zambian Minister) Shadreck Blessings‎

I am an African born in Africa, I am not a South African
But I`m black; my skin is the same as yours
and I rise and proudly say black is beautiful
and we share this beautiful chocolate colour,
we are all Africans.

When the cries were so hard in South Africa
before getting Independence,
as Africans we united to free South Africa.

When your leaders were beaten by whites we
gave them shelter, protection, food and the
hope that indeed freedom is coming tomorow.

I might not be a South African
I can’t speak Zulu, ’cause I am Tonga
I can’t speak Zulu, ’cause I’m Bemba
I don’t know terms in Zulu
As much as you don’t know it in my language.

You are right I am a foreigener
I was not born in Gauteng
I am an African. I am your brother

Today you kill us like you are killing cockroaches,
you burn us like you are making a born fire,
you axe us like you are cultivativating yum in Nigeria .

We are no longer scared of a white skin because
black is the one now cutting our lives short.
Where should I go if you beat me and destroy my property,
how will I even run to the border 
when my safety is not guaranteed,
I do not 
even know if I will get there alive.

In my country we live with many South Africans
but we do not beat or axe them.
They have better jobs in my country,
some run shops like we do in your country
we believe we are one because we are of the same black skin.

Someone asked me “which is more deadly,
Ebola or a South African?”
Now I can answer:
an angry South African is.

I might be dark in complexion
I might have the foreigner’s looks
Now you, my black brother [are acting like the apartheid racists]
Why should you Black South Africans do this?
What makes you think that you better than me?
Who told you that I am responsible for your unemployment?
Who told you that I am less human?

If I need to go back to Zambia the country you call very dirty
Let all the Tswanas go back to Botswana
Let all the Sothos go back to Lesotho
Let all the Shonas go back to Zimbabwe

And let everyone in Africa go back to their home countries
and we will remain poor forever because I believe we need each other for development,
we need to stand by each other in all situations for we are brothers and sisters.

Xenophobia is deadly
let us kill it by promoting peace for all.

Remember Ubuntu is a South African term meaning Humanity
let us promote this Ubuntu now.
Let us not be ignorant

Your unemployment is your responsibility
Use your intellect: Get up and work
Let education empower you
Seek humanity

Before 1994 you blamed whites
Now you are blaming me
Who are you going to blame after chasing me away?
Who are you going to blame after killing me?

I am sorry I was not born here
I am sorry I can’t speak Zulu
I am sorry for being too dark for your Joburg
I am sorry for cleaning the toilets you don’t want to clean
I am sorry for doing your garden
I am sorry for repairing your shoes
I am sorry for protecting your leaders while they were in Exile
And most of all I’m sorry for building South African infrastructure.

Please my brothers let there be peace and prosperity amongst black African people.
Let us join hands in fighting Xenophobia or we will all kill each other.

Why kill one of your own today
of what benefit is it after taking away their lives?

My heart bleeds for South Africa,
I’m sure Madiba might have been saddened had he still been alive,
I’m sure Kaunda is Crying right now
because some places in Africa have become fierce to go to.

Cry African as we act against this
by preaching real love and never revenge.
We have our continent to protect.