I hate foreigners…

It’s been a while since I scribbled about xenophobia. In fact, the last time was when I wrote “How Xenophobia Can Improve Your Life”. However, of late, I’ve seen xenophobia rear it’s ugly head both online and in the so called ‘real world’ so I thought, let’s write…if only to get it off my chest.

I should point out I’m not entirely sure if this is actually considered xenophobia. I know xenophobia is the hate/fear of foreigners, but what if a foreigner hates other foreigners? What’s that called? If I hate black people because of their race, does that make me a racist? Or if I was gay but hated gay people, would I be considered a homophobe? What if I was fat and hated fat people purely because they were fat? Would I be considered a weightist or do we just file all these under “self hate?”

So yes, my gripe today is with the xenophobia (or self hate…whichever floats your boat) displayed by foreigners towards other foreigners.

I recently had a bit of a debate with a fellow Zimbabwean regarding the changes to South Africa’s immigration laws. She was going on about “I’m glad the South African government is doing something about immigration. There’s way too many foreigners in South Africa.” At this point I was thinking to myself “oh, now that you’re in, there’s too many foreigners?” She continued “our economy can’t absorb them all.” By now I couldn’t stop myself laughing. “Our economy?” OUR? So now that you have a job, it’s “OUR” economy? Now that you have papers, everyone else is “too many foreigners?”

The crazy thing is you hear such talk all the time. One minute someone is jumping the fence into South Africa, next minute they get a job and start complaining about the holes in the border fence. One minute they are a refugee just trying to survive, the next their asylum papers come through and they start complaining that South Africa is granting asylum to too many people. But weren’t you this so called “too many people” a few months ago?

Then there’s those foreigners who have nothing but negative commentary about their nation of birth. “I can’t imagine living in Zimbabwe hey! I get sick whenever I’m there” they say….and this will be coming from someone born and raised in Zimbabwe for 25 years of his life before he moved to South Africa in 2010. How then did you survive 25 years of “I get sick whenever I’m there?”

Then there’s those foreigners who even pretend they are South African by birth. Your name is Tawanda but you’re out here talking about “how do we stop foreigners coming into OUR country?” Into whose country Tawanda? What makes it even more cringe worthy is when Tawanda can’t even speak a single South African language.

Then there’s the class warfare amongst foreigners; classist tendencies that usually see Western foreigners at the top of the foreigner food chain. They usually hate African foreigners because they believe they (Western foreigners) contribute to South Africa’s economy whilst African foreigners are just mooching off the state. This is probably the same everywhere you go though. I’m sure British foreigners in the USA hold themselves in higher regard than their fellow foreigners from Mexico. But it’s not as straighfoward as Westerners vs Africans. We also have classist tendencies amongst ourselves as African foreigners. For instance, Southern African foreigners feel like they have more of a claim to this foreign land than, say, Somalis/Ethiopians.

Ultimately, I don’t know why we are all so obsessed with borders, passports, nationalities, places of birth, etc. Countries are just the space between geometric lines drawn by some very capitalistic individuals who were sharing the world’s land between them.

As for foreigners, they are pretty easy to create. Just take a piece of land and codorn it off, name it, give yourselves little booklets with the land’s name on it, and voilà, everyone on the outside is a foreigner. Then, just for fun, allow some foreigners in and watch them fight each other.

I hate foreigners…who hate foreigners.

* just scribbling my foreigner thoughts*

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10 comments on “I hate foreigners…

  1. Shula says:

    Thanks for bringing these issues up Tawanda! It would be hypocritical for me to say I hate foreigners who hate foreigners because I see that kind of crazy thinking in myself :-/


    • ImTawanda says:

      Thanks for reading.

      I’m sure it’s only human nature to think that way. We can’t help it for the most part


      • outtaonbail says:

        yo article was incisive until u said we dont need borders.well its an opinion piece and will keep this in mind.the fear of foreigners is embeded in our genes…for Zimbabweans, they chided and dsrigated Malawians n Mozambicans.taste of own medicine.the Zimbabwean government has taken the patriotism out od a lot of people.its an embarrassment.patriotism is earned.u dont wake up a proud citizen.your country makes u proud and u return that by being patriotic.this duty is reciprocal.its like an endorsement deal,if u mess it up, it gets cancelled.


  2. Nandi says:

    Interesting read. There’s discrimination everywhere…


  3. mre says:

    You should go back where you come from you can’t be talking things like this if you know you’re a foreigner. Go back to mugabe you taking our jobs


  4. rickymarima says:

    I read this a while ago and lost the link but something I heard on radio today caused me to look for it again. I take great exception to fellow Zimbabweans who deride their home country when abroad.


  5. Ro says:

    Hi everyone I would like to clarify something also about foreigners.And I will talk as a student because I am one.
    I just want to say that when we come to South Africa it is for studies purpose.Because sometimes at University they(SA students) say that we are here to take theirs jobs.LOL
    First of all when we come it is ONLY to study.

    Secondly Don’t worry for about your jobs because we don’t need them.We generally come from rich families so what we receive monthly equals maybe two,three even five times the salaries they give you.So we live very well as students therefore there is no reason for us to disturb you South African people.

    Finally once again you don’t need to worry because as soon as we finish studying,we will go back home as jobs are waiting for us there.WE JUST COME HERE TO GAIN KNOWLEDGE AS OUR UNIVERSITIES ARE GENERALLY NOT GOOD QUALITY AND WE GO BACK.


  6. benzo says:

    why zimbabwean keep vote for mugabe? fuck them park yr thngs and go home nxaa


  7. benzo says:

    I hate zimbabwean and mocambiquen they fight a whites ppls and now they follow them nxa


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