Jdlamini / news24
I MET lots of Africans, mainly Nigerians, Ethiopians, Somalis and Ghanaians. Sadly, they were hawkers.
Everywhere I went I saw Africans and other immigrants working tough jobs.
Many looked broken, uninspired, getting by. Why are they here, I thought?
Why not just go back home? Why are so many Africans struggling to get to South Africa?
But then it hit me that some have little choice – they are running from poverty, persecution, war and oppression.
However, I could not help but feel many were too ashamed to go back home.
How can they go back home with little to show for the decades spent in Mzansi? They would likely be laughed at, ridiculed. Or so they probably think. It would be better to stay.
Yet, I cannot help feel that some do have a choice. That they could make more of themselves back in their home countries.
“Why be a second class citizen?” I thought. Whether they get citizenship or not, they would still be a foreigner – away from home, with limited options and missing their homeland.
I do not mean to speak ill of our fellow brothers and sisters or of anyone from our continent (Africa) living here. I just love my Africa. I wish its people would take pride in it.
I wish its people would thrive in it. I wish they would work to make it better and not leave.
I wish they could see the potential and opportunity in their countries.
I wish they could see that slavery is not just physical. It is also economic – and for many that is the reality there. They are slaves to the economy – working to live. No life in their years, only years in their life.
Yet the consolation perhaps is that it seems that is the way to go for all over there, African or immigrant. Money rules and life is spent trying to get it – more and more of it. Yet it is never enough. I am happy to be African. I am happy to be living in Africa.
Yet, I realise not everyone is blessed to be in my kind of position – skilled with choices. What can Africa do to change that? Everyone should have choices and opportunities. Africa, what must we do?
It starts with you and me. Africa, let us be the change we want to see. We can do it! We shall do it! Shall a man run away from his poor home and go to seek the pleasures of his friend’s wealthy home? Should he not stay and make his home better instead so he can enjoy his own pleasures.
Barring war and natural calamity, political persecution and such, I see little reason for the fight to get to South Africa.
God bless Africa and its people, wherever in the world they are. Let’s enjoy Africa Month.
) Express readers are encou-raged to contribute to this column by sending their piece (of about 500 words) on any topic to Jabulani.Dlamini@volksblad.com