Twitter divided over actor Hlomla Dandala’s ‘xenophobia’

Hlomla Dandala. Picture: Supplied.

Hlomla Dandala. Picture: Supplied.

His view that areas such as Hillbrow have been ‘lost’ to foreign nationals provoked both outrage and debate.

Actor Hlomla Dandala, known for his outspoken presence on Twitter, took to the platform to voice his opinion that areas such as Yeoville and Hillbrow are a reminder of “how much we’ve lost to foreign African nationals”.

Preempting those who may have called the comment out for xenophobia, the actor continued: “Call it xenophobia all you like but truth is truth”.

Reactions to the tweet, which had over 1,200 likes and almost 500 RTs at the time of publication, showed that some agree with Dandala.

However, not everyone felt his comment was fair and, as predicted, he was criticised for xenophobia.

The tweet did gain the support of some users.

Some felt that Dandala’s concerns are misdirected, and should be aimed at white South Africans rather than his fellow Africans. The actor rejected this argument.

Since the tweet, the actor has been engaging in debate with followers who disagree with him.

He also tweeted that people had been calling him “xenophobic all morning”, despite the fact that he himself indicated in his original tweet that this would be a likely response to his views.

One Twitter user compared Dandala to US President Donald Trump, to which the actor replied: “Trump wins because liberals won’t face certain truths. Denialism leaves the Trumps of the world with room to access power.”

One of Dandala’s Nigerian followers felt betrayed by the tweet, stating that Dandala once played a Nigerian character and had a following in the country as a result. He was likely referring to Dandala’s portrayal of Jacob Makhubu Abayomi, a South African-born businessman who discovers his father is Nigerian, in the television series Jacob’s Cross, which was shown both locally and in Nigeria.

This is not Dandala’s only link to the wider continent. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pan African Film Festival in 2011, and won the award for Best Actor at the Ghana Movie Awards in 2014.

Dandala is an award-winning actor and director known for, among other roles, playing Kingsley Siseko Langa on soapie Scandal.

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