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#SayNoToXenophobia: I’ve lost out on jobs for not being Nigerian or South African, but nothing compares to being killed for being foreign – Vimbai

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As Africa and indeed the world discusses the inhumane treatment of foreigners, especially Nigerians in parts of South Africa, Zimbabwean TV personality, Vimbai Mutinhiri (who has lived and worked in both Nigeria and South Africa) has shared her take on ‘Afrophobia’ and the need for it to end, using herself and her experiences.

She wrote in a post on Instagram:

“In my career, I have been pulled off major projects because I was not South African. I have also lost out on several deals because I am not Nigerian. Of course that doesn’t compare to those being maimed and killed for being foreign, but the truth about Africa is that when something makes us uncomfortable we are quick to resort to a default that only sees colour, tribe and nationality.

Afrophobia brews daily in the most subtle ways, as resentment grows towards people who communities feel do not deserve to be more successful than their own on their turf, purely because their roots aren’t from there.

What breaks my heart most about the images and videos from the past few days (and those from previous years) is that most of the people who are victims of this horrific brutality are people with little to no choice. Under normal circumstances, majority of people would prefer to lead comfortable lives in their countries of origin surrounded by friends and family. Migrating is a tough decision, and a tough existence.

My heart bleeds because more often than not the desperation and hardworking nature of most migrants is perceived as greed. I’m praying for the safety of my African compatriots in South Africa during this period, I am praying that the authorities intervene decisively, and I’m praying for an Africa where poverty, hardship, and instability don’t force our people to become unwelcome fugitives so far from home 💔 #SayNoToXenophobia”

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In my career, I have been pulled off major projects because I was not South African. I have also lost out on several deals because I am not Nigerian. Of course that doesn’t compare to those being maimed and killed for being foreign, but the truth about Africa is that when something makes us uncomfortable we are quick to resort to a default that only sees colour, tribe and nationality. . . Afrophobia brews daily in the most subtle ways, as resentment grows towards people who communities feel do not deserve to be more successful than their own on their turf, purely because their roots aren’t from there. . . What breaks my heart most about the images and videos from the past few days (and those from previous years) is that most of the people who are victims of this horrific brutality are people with little to no choice. Under normal circumstances, majority of people would prefer to lead comfortable lives in their countries of origin surrounded by friends and family. Migrating is a tough decision, and a tough existence. . . My heart bleeds because more often than not the desperation and hardworking nature of most migrants is perceived as greed. I’m praying for the safety of my African compatriots in South Africa during this period, I am praying that the authorities intervene decisively, and I’m praying for an Africa where poverty, hardship, and instability don’t force our people to become unwelcome fugitives so far from home 💔 #SayNoToXenophobia

A post shared by Vimbai Mutinhiri – Ekpenyong (@the_vimbai) on

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