In spite of the peace initiative, a number of travel agents told one of our correspondents that Nigerians were not buying tickets to South Africa, except for special reasons.
I haven’t sold tickets to Johannesburg for two weeks – Agent
“I have not booked a single ticket to Johannesburg in the last two weeks,” a travel agent, who did not want to be named revealed.
“Nobody is going there at the moment. It is as if there is a total boycott except it is extremely important. Since the problem between Nigeria and South Africa began, the only people travelling are those that had booked their flights long before now and students that need to return to school and have no choice but to resume,” the agent said.
Another Lagos-based agent said the situation had degenerated to the point that special travel packages that were put together for tourists to the country had either been cancelled or diverted to some other destinations as people were no longer interested.
Nigerian tourists changing destinations from SA to Dubai
According to the agent, Nigerian tourists are changing their vacation destinations to Dubai, Mauritius and other places.
“There are people with pending tickets that have requested change of airline or destination. Even people scheduled to travel; some have said they no longer want to travel to South Africa,” he said.
Findings show that South African Airways, which operates daily flights between Lagos and Johannesburg, has been affected.
South African Airways enjoys a near monopoly on the route being the only airline that offers direct flights from Lagos to Johannesburg; other airlines on that route such as Kenyan Airway and Rwandair have to get to Nairobi and Kigali respectively, before taking off to Johannesburg. The airline, when contacted, declined to comment on the issue.
I left SA when attacks became frequent – Mother of two
Meanwhile, a woman who was among those evacuated on Wednesday shared her experience, saying that she decided to leave South Africa when the attacks became frequent.
The single mother of two, Ololade Atere, from Oyo State, said her nail studio was destroyed in the recent xenophobic attacks.
Atere said, “My experience was bad. I was into fixing of nails and one day I got a call that my shop had been destroyed. I decided to come home because the violence became too much and I couldn’t keep running with my two kids.
“I lived in South Africa for five years, but I have no plans of going back. I am tired of the violence. I have to be safe. I am home now. I have to find a job or business.
“I left Nigeria when I was pregnant. The intention was to have my baby, have some travel experience and return. I wanted to come back after I had my first baby but people convinced me to stay. But now, I have had enough.”
S’Africa said my children were its citizens – Mother
Atere said she was supposed to be among the first batch of Nigerians to return, but was stopped at the airport.
“They said I couldn’t travel with my kids because I gave birth to them in South Africa and they are citizens,” she said.
She added that she was made to swear an affidavit before she was allowed to bring the children with her to Nigeria.
‘I left my child in S’Africa’
Another returnee, who identified himself as Uchenbi, told the News Agency of Nigeria that South Africans harboured hostility towards Nigerians.
He stated, “South Africans are angry at Nigerians for no reason and would blame them for whatever reason they deem fit.”
Uchenbi, who was in South Africa for 12 years before he returned to Nigeria on Wednesday, said he left his child in South Africa, while she was sleeping.
The man, who is married to a South African, said his wife would have suffered, if he had been killed in South Africa.
S’African police didn’t probe my husband killing – Woman
Another returnee, Blessing Chioma, accused the South African police of inaction when her husband was killed in 2012.
Chioma said, ”I’m coming from South Africa, Johannesburg; I was married to a Nigerian, but South Africans killed him during the xenophobic attacks. I reported the case to the police, they know about it; they look for the guys, but you won’t know them because they come in groups, so nothing was done; the case is closed,” she said.
”Since then I’ve been coping with the children, but I returned them to Nigeria because I was no more meeting up in training them. So they’re here now in Nigeria; I came back to take care of them, but we came with nothing because they burnt our shops.”
Source: Nigerian Eye
China’s telecom giant Huawei has unveiled its Mate 30 Series, the world’s first second generation 5G smartphone, in Munich Germany.
The unveiling on Thursday was done by Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group.
According to Huawei, the new generation smartphone, which is equipped with all new Kirin 990 5G SoC processor and comes in six different colors, is the first to integrate processing units and a 5G modem on the same chip using the 7nm+ EUV (extreme ultra-violet) process.
The integrated quad-camera setup includes the SuperSensing Cine Camera, a dual main camera system designed for top-quality photographic and videographic results, said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group.
Huawei runs R&D centers in Germany, France and the UK
Huawei is reported to invest at least 10 to 15 percent of global revenue in R&D each year. And the Chinese giant has invested altogether more than 17 billion dollars in R&D in the last 10 years.
MultiChoice is reducing the price of DStv by up to 37% in various African countries, but it is uncertain whether it will extend this to South Africa.
The company recently informed subscribers in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique that their DStv subscription prices would be reduced from 1 September 2019.
Monthly DStv and GOtv subscription fees across East Africa will be slashed to make the service more competitive against streaming services.
MultiChoice Africa told TV with Thinus that not all markets where it operates would have the same price changes.
MultiChoice Uganda, for example, will reduce monthly DStv subscription fees by up to 30%, while Kenyan subscribers will see price cuts of between 5% and 37%.
“Each country has different cost structures influenced by local dynamics such as inflation, content costs, foreign exchange rates, local taxes and overheads,” said MultiChoice Africa’s head of corporate affairs Reatile Tekateka.
“We’ve done a lot of research into what pay-TV costs in other parts of the world and we believe that our DStv and GOtv services offer good value for money in the countries in which we operate,” she said.
MultiChoice Kenya said the price cuts “will grant more of our customers access to the complete world of exciting entertainment channels at a lower price”.
MultiChoice South Africa responds
MultiChoice’s senior manager for corporate communications Benedict Maaga told MyBroadband that they review their DStv prices once a year when they do their business planning.
“Our prices for the new year are announced before 1 April,” Maaga said.
“The price of DStv Premium in South Africa compares favourably with the pricing in other African countries.”
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was heckled during the recent funeral service of Zimbabwe’s erstwhile leader Robert Mugabe. It was easy to guess why. When he stood to speak, Ramaphosa apologised for weeks of violence in his country targeted at non-national Africans.
Immediately after this apology, heckling turned into cheers. His apology, a stroke of ingenuity, defused the tension. But it didn’t answer the key question that philosopher and political theorist Achille Mbembe once asked in relation to xenophobic violence in South Africa:
When we say ‘South Africa’, is ‘Africa’ an idea or simply a geographical accident?
To many, the answer appears pretty obvious: recent events that have seen people baying for the blood of “foreigners” makes the meaning of Africa in South Africa meaningless.
Importantly though, xenophobia is not a uniquely South African phenomenon. Nor is it simply a question of violence against non-national Africans. It is the consequences of the historical burden that colonialism has bequeathed the continent. This refers to colonially determined borders.
These borders separated African people into different nationalities. They were maintained after Africa’s independence. This spawned nationalisms. Xenophobia is the function of the contests of these nationalisms. As the British social scientist Michael Billig explains in his book, Banal Nationalism,
the triumph of a particular nationalism is seldom achieved without the defeat of alternative nationalisms and other ways of imagining peoplehood.
Xenophobia negates the spirit of pan-Africanism, especially its laudable ideal that Africans share a mutual bond regardless of their geographical location.
That xenophobic incidents are increasing in post-apartheid South Africa is unexpected. In its formative years as a democracy since 1994, the country had assumed the leadership of the African Renaissance cause. It was championed by former South African President of Thabo Mbeki who advocated pan-African “cohesion of economics, culture, growth and development”.
Mbeki eloquently stated that, for African countries to assert their influence in global affairs, their governments should
(forego their) “atomistic nation-state, zero sum sovereignty, and recognise their interdependence”.
Why then do impulses of aggressive patriotism exist in the post-apartheid South Africa? Shouldn’t this pan-African disposition have foregrounded the term “Africa” in “South Africa” as an idea. Shouldn’t it even have shaped the country’s nation-building and state formation project?
South Africanness and Afrophobia
Xenophobia and pan-Africanism are antinomies. They have opposite implications on state formation and nation-building.
Xenophobia is a function of insularity – lack of interest in others’ culture, outside one’s own experience. South Africa’s insularity was facilitated by the fact that it was a pariah state for many years. The apartheid system’s strong border control played a role, too. The country internalised the intolerance of difference. This explains its social disorientation, suspicious of foreigners as “unknown others”.
In many instances, non-national Africans are the primary target of this suspicion. They are, therefore, more likely to be on the receiving end of xenophobic violence.
An appropriate term for this is afrophobia. This is the dehumanising of people of African descent, and in the diaspora, because of their physiques, colour of their skins and behaviours.
The post-apartheid project of nation-building is the by-product of the contradiction of insularity agitating for “South Africanness”, and the African Renaissance as an all-embracing crystallisation of the consciousness of the whole of Africa’s people.
A system of organising society in which individual rights and freedoms are protected, and the markets are left to their own devices, spawned insular nationhood. This trumps the pursuit of a common African identity. It is because of this that, as the socio-economic grievances of the nationals increase, largely because of the economy’s poor performance, nationalism morphs into jingoism. The non-nationals become scapegoats.
Often, the consequences of this, as laid bare in the streets of Gauteng province, are pernicious.
Unfortunately, because of this, South Africa’s moral authority, which it earned after it became a democracy by playing a prominent role in Africa, is at stake. Hence its government is at pains to accept that xenophobia exists, and that it has been on the rise in the post-apartheid South Africa.
Of course, in some instances this phenomenon is opportunistically used to obscure the criminal activities of some non-national Africans in the country. But the suggestion by some in government that attacks on foreign nationals are sheer criminality rather than xenophobia is not cutting ice.
Coupled with calls that South Africa should be shunned, all these beget a cycle of internecine hostilities. These fracture economic, political and social relations.
Unfortunately, dissociation is not a solution. It’s a cop-out. If South Africa were to become a pariah state – again – whose interest would be served, and to what end? Wouldn’t it be those who, in the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, negotiated the rules about the scramble for Africa?
Their borders that balkanised Africa continue to stoke interstate acrimony. The xenophobic flare-ups in South Africa should be understood as the cumulative effect of this historical burden.
What needs to happen
Ramaphosa sent special envoys to the countries whose citizens were mostly affected by xenophobic violence – Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia – to mend relations. This is a good diplomatic gesture.
However, this shouldn’t simply be a charm offensive, but instead a deliberate pursuit to give meaning to the term “Africa” in “South Africa”, which has waned after Mbeki’s presidency. South Africa should reclaim its leading role in Africa’s renaissance.
Re-imagining the future of Africa requires true commitment to pan-Africanism, anchored in the African philosophy of ubuntu (humanism), which decrees that
I am because we are.
The pan-Africanism spirit shouldn’t be fostered only in the African leadership and diplomatic circles, and used for political expediency. It should be part of the psyche of society and become a lived daily experience.
Xenophobia is a function of attitude. It thus requires the intervention of social institutions, such as universities, to mainstream pan-Africanism as a philosophy in their curricula and teaching.
It is important to shape the characters of students, who are future leaders, to understand that human co-existence is not a function of nationality, but of humanity. This should be part of the decoloniality agenda in Africa.