In a song called “fragile” Sting sings: “If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one, drying in the colour of the evening sun. Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away, but something in our minds will always stay.”
Perhaps this final act was meant to clinch a lifetime’s arguments that nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could.
Our continuing Xenophobic violence comes to mind in this song while we continue to shed the blood of innocent people who do not share our land of birth. Does it occur to us that when the blood dries, the real problem will still remain unresolved?
What kind of the sick satisfaction do we take from disrupting the lives of those less fortunate than we, and what if the roles were reversed are so frustrated with our own problems that we would kill to make ourselves feel better. The deep-rooted hatred we display to those not of our native land has turned us into barbarians.
The truth is that violence will never justify our cause it never has. The social frustrations that we suffer can only be dealt with by those we put into power. Unfortunately, they have turned a blind eye after getting what they wanted.
South Africa has a timeline of xenophobic attacks dating from 1994 to date. This has happened in different areas where South Africans have taken on the mission to use various methods in dehumanizing non-South Africans who hail from different corners of the African & Asian continents like the Nigerians, Congolese, Ethiopians, Somalis, Malawians, Tanzanians, Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Pakistanis and Chinese among others.
This is caused by the legacy of Apartheid that has left many blacks in South Africa poor and reliant on white-owned businesses that do not have enough capacity to employ everyone. This has made it challenging for South Africans to interface with Africans from other countries who often thrive to create anything from nothing in order to maintain survival, even though it means selling drugs, fake goods, accepting employment positions’ South Africans would reject, like hair braiding and tailoring.
Among the people who are at risk and have experienced their occupation questioned are Xitsonga people who are commonly known as “Shangaan” and are as South African as any other tribe in the country. Shangaan has become a dangerous, derogatory term of stigma which places Xitsonga people under the same banner as foreign nationals living in South Africa. If you are from outside South Africa you are labelled as Shangaan and if you are Tsonga you are automatically assumed to be a foreign national.
To all our beloved Xitsonga speaking out there, be alert at all times, one life lost is one-too many. Keep in mind that: “Blood dries, but suffering remains”.
Article by Godlive Masinge