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Frankly Pan Afrikan - A Brief Discussion on Being a Black non-South African African in South Africa.

Xenophobia is one of those hugely concerning issues in South Africa that too often gets swept under the rug. Whilst the media does report the appalling violent crimes that are committed against African foreigners in the country in the name of prejudice and discrimination, however, an ongoing conversation about these issues is largely nonexistent. Negative stereotypes propagated by politicians, the media and ordinary citizens often go unchallenged due to the blissful state of ignorance surrounding xenophobia. As Ben from Tanzania confirms, “I don’t think South Africans care much about what happens up and beyond their borders”.

That is why this conversation is both necessary and important.

Here, five African professionals hailing from various parts of the continent gather for a ‘Frankly Pan Afrikan’ discussion, detailing their experiences as non-South African Africans in the country.

Whilst I wish it were a little longer and more in-depth, many statements made by the participants stood out to me as they largely echoed my experience of living in South Africa both as an African foreigner, and more particularly a Nigeria. As my fellow Nigerian points out, being someone who’s grown up in multiple countries, as much as I’ve enjoyed and loved living in South Africa, one thing rings true - “I’ve never faced as much hostility as I have faced here in South Africa”.