Author and activist Malaika Mahlatsi, AKA Malaika wa Azania, 25, has written several Facebook posts railing against xenophobia among South Africans, particularly black South Africans, who she blasted for being passionate in their xenophobia and cowardly elsewhere.
“It is very easy for us as Black South Afrikans to take action against Black immigrants, but we cannot even tell our White colleagues to switch off the air-conditioner in the office. We would rather freeze and end up spending lots of money at pharmacies getting flu medicines than make them uncomfortable. But when it comes to immigrants, we are very energetic. We are very busy,” she wrote.
The post was shared more than 500 times on Facebook on Friday morning as residents from Mamelodi and Attridgeville in Pretoria went on a march against foreign nationals they said were taking their jobs and were perpetrators of crimes.
In a lengthier post, Mahlatsi told of how, after centuries, black South Africans have refused to provide cheap labour to white farmers and mining companies, and white employers began “romanticising” black migrants for their willingness to do the same work for less.
“Black immigrants fell for this myth. They relished in the idea of being the better Blacks. And worked hard and did not complain about the peanuts they were getting. Their life’s mission became to remain better Blacks in the eyes of the White man. They did not care much about transformation, they were just happy to be employed because life is already hard enough being an immigrant. Soon enough, a clear line of division was drawn between Black locals and Black immigrants, and its greatest beneficiary was the White man.
“When Black South Afrikans eventually rose, it was not against the White man who treated them like a used condom, but against the Black immigrants who, unknown to them, are presently the preferred condom on the White man’s penis – easy to use and easy to dispose of when no longer needed.”
Mahlatshi, known for her provocative social commentary, is author of Memoirs of a Born-free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation, which was published in 2014. Following the book’s success in South Africa, it has been translated into German.