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  • Celebrating African heritage in defiance of xenophobia


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    By Siphokazi Mnyobe on GroundUp

    Less than a week after dozens of immigrants were forced to leave their homes in Plettenberg Bay, about 100 community members from different nationalities came together to celebrate Heritage Day on Saturday.

    The community of Kwanokuthula chose to host the event in the wake of the xenophobic violence in which South Africans went house-to-house searching for foreign nationals. Immigrant-owned shops were shut down, and two homes of immigrants were torched.

    On Saturday, groups representing Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa shared traditional food, danced together and enjoyed a variety of music. During the day, each group was given a chance to educate people about their home countries and dishes.

    ALSO READ: Plettenberg Bay: Immigrants’ houses burnt in act of Xenophobia

    “We wanted people to come together and be united. We have had a traumatic past few weeks in Kwanokuthula where people have been divided and conflicted, but we want to bring back the spirit of Ubuntu to our beautiful garden town,”

    said resident Asanda Mlamli.

    Mlamli said she is Xhosa and her husband is Nigerian. She said she chose to wear traditional clothing from her husband’s home country in a show of support.

    image-26.png
    Mxolisi Mzili, Vuyolwethu Peter, Jeffrey Rangula, Aubrey Mzali, and Stephene Golusue are some of the community leaders and elders in Kwanokuthula.

    ALSO READ: WATCH | Ramaphosa reacts to ‘xenophobic’ Health MEC [VIDEO]

    “I’m happy we can finally celebrate this day in public. Over the years we’ve spent the day in our houses but we have always wanted to come out and be with people.”

    Idah Shema from Malawi said,

    Shema makes traditional clothes for a living. She has been in South Africa for seven years and said she learnt her current trade two years ago.

    Some of the meals prepared included Malawian Mbatata, Nsima and Chambo with rice. The Xhosa tribe made Umngqusho and ulusu, while the group from Ghana brought their famous jollof rice and chicken served with green salad.

    Jeffery Rangula, a former Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson, said, “I was embarrassed to think that my community was on a mission to drive immigrants out.”

    Rangula has lived in Kwanokuthula for more than 20 years and served the CPF for ten years. “I’m happy to see events like these where everyone is included. I pray that the peace and unity demonstrated at this event stays forever in Kwanokuthula,” said Rangula.

    ALSO READ: Agree to disagree? Ramaphosa reacts to ‘xenophobia’ in Health MEC

    image-27.png
    Groups representing Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa shared traditional food, danced together and enjoyed a variety of music. During the day, each group was given a chance to educate people about their home countries and dishes.

    This article was first published on GroundUp

    ALSO READ: Zama Zama drama: ‘Xenophobic’ AKA hit by Twitter backlash

    2022-09-26-plettenberg-bay-community-cel

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Afrii Diaspora Dialogue

A Platform for Dialogue for the African diaspora

A cultural and community website with a GO.A.L. to UpLift™ and EmPower™ the many different peoples, cultures, and communities of the Black and African diasporas.

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