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00:00 / 01:53

Why is the rainbow nation suffering from afrophobic violence? 


Afrophobia is fear of the Black Other and like xenophobia it rears its ugly head towards migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. This phenomenon has been a feature of post apartheid South Africa, with the 2008 attacks still fresh in the cultural memory of locals and neighbouring identities. After receiving a whatsagroup message from my Gogo (grandmother) forwarded by a  vigilante group threatening to attack migrants, their families and their place of work, I wanted to know why. Why a nation so close to home and associated with ubuntu could be plagued with such hatred. In investigating the parallels between South Africa’s colonial past and its equally violent present, I stumbled upon the beginnings of migrant labour. The genesis to the violence seen today against Black ethnic groups in South Africa. I have a theory that migrant labour is not the problem but the government’s failure to eradicate racial capitalism.


Why not test my hypothesis? We will travel together through time from the discovery of diamonds, to the Big Hole and the Gold rush. We will journey around Windsor in Randburg, Gauteng to hear from migrant workers.


We will stop in Maandagshoek, the home of one of South Africa’s most profitable mines, Modikwa Platinum, to hear from community leaders declaring the mines are creating poverty in their community. We will finish our investigation on campus at Witwatersrand University to hear from Xenowatch, a research centre looking into xenophobia/ afrophobia and most importantly the way forward. 

It is not often we celebrate the resilience that comes with working under such an intense environment or the innovativeness of turning a hustle into a whole enterprise. These images are dedicated to the migrant workers making ends met despite the challenges and barriers they face daily. #excellence. 

Please note: 


'A historical narrative is a construction, not a truthful discourse that can be verified on all of its points. This narrative must combine scholarship with arguments that can introduce the criteria of truthfulness and plausibility. The poet creates, the historian argues.'  - Arlette Farge,’ Allure of the Archives’ (Yale University Press, 2013) 


Each episode contains strong material, if at any point you feel triggered or need to speak to someone please visit the following organisations. 





‘If you want to know the end, look at the beginning.’

- African Proverb


What sparked my inquiry into why the rainbow nation is suffering from afrophobia? How did young Erasmus Jacobs change the course of history? Who were the !Kora and why are they remembered as as being one of the most significant adversaries of colonial expansion? How were the San involved with the !Kora? Who was Nicholaas Waterboer? Who is Aunty Patience? Why are these questions relevant to afrophobia and racial capitalism? 

Press play to find out. 

00:00 / 23:41

‘Do not look where you feel. Look where you slipped.’

- African Proverb


How was colonialism legitimised? How did the emptying of African people’s humanity link with the vacant land myth? What is the vacant land myth? Where did Bantu speaking people come from? What was Mfecane? What compelled southern Africans to go and work in the Big Hole? How did the Venda become mercenaries? How do you persevere when it is the authorities crushing your business? Why are these questions relevant to afrophobia and racial capitalism? 

Press play to find out. 

00:00 / 28:20

‘The axe forgets but the tree remembers.’

- African Proverb 


How was gold discovered? Why were the gold mines Africa’s biggest employer of Black labour? What were Southern African miners’ experiences like? Why were europeans so fixated with subjugating local ethnic groups to low wage employment? What happened after Britain annexed all chiefdoms and disarmed their tribesmen? Why does a hallow glorification of a nation infringe others’ liberty? Why are these questions relevant to afrophobia and racial capitalism? 

Press play to find out. 

00:00 / 29:44

‘Rain does not fall on one roof alone.’

- African Proverb 


What is the legacy of a nation formed at the cost of positioning Black ethnic groups in economic and social subordination? 

Press play to find out.

00:00 / 20:48
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