Following the recent Xenophobic attacks on other Africans in South Africa by South Africans, former Big Brother Africa contestant, Tayo Faniran, has shed more light on the situation.
This comes weeks after the reality star was assaulted by the South African police.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Advent, the model revealed the reasons behind the attacks and the long term and short term effects of xenophobic attacks on the South African economy.
What, in your opinion, do you think is behind these attacks?
Hate, no two words, maybe due to jealousy or intimidation mostly because they think the successes of most foreigners could have been theirs.
What was the response of security agents to the situation when it started?
Africans have been too tolerant of these many xenophobic outbreaks in South Africa, which has made the attackers feel too comfortable that they can always get away with it, nobody cares for us, or we don’t have better homes to go back to,so I’m very happy with the steps taken by the people of other countries in Africa by making noise about it showing their reaction on social media and also the actions were taken by the African presidents/leaders including our very own Nigerian president, this time they will take us more seriously,and I feel this time SA is already under pressure to fix things by all means.
What is often the reaction of SA authorities to harassment of foreigners?
The SA authorities mean South African citizens and most of them have hate or no regards for foreigners, it clouds their minds and consumes them so much that they even forget to be professional, so even in uniforms they still demonstrate xenophobia, they don’t care most times
Do Nigerians who live in SA legally and doing legal jobs experience xenophobia? Are they targeted?
Yes, for instance, I’m here working as a model and an actor and I still have experienced xenophobia many times.
Xenophobic attacks are demonstrated in different ways, verbally and physically which may mean getting a bad attitude, aggression from the SA citizens who are xenophobic or get brutalized
What is the fate of Nigerian students in SA?
The Nigerian students in SA can not begin to feel too comfortable, most of the schools are located in areas where these attacks happen often and it’s even worse when they are already known to be Nigerians/foreigners at school and where they live
What will be some of the long term and short term effects of xenophobic attacks on the South African economy?
At this moment, people are scared to go out, which makes them lose on transportation, buying and selling, also tourism, because many people have canceled going to SA,they are losing at the moment,but it will get worse if they lose their good relationships with the rest of African countries, if the rest of Africa cuts of trading with SA, they definitely may be doomed.