Tag Archives: immigration

The loneliness of immigration

You’re not here – To Marion   I   In the storm the woods around our home are bewildered, The leaves snarling, tearing at the end of their leashes. You’ve been away for a few days. In this wind an arching, rustling autumn Of whistling twigs, blades and stalks Rip the guts out of the…

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Which “South Africa” do you live in?

People sometimes ask me, ‘Don’t you miss South Africa?’ ‘No,’ I reply – but in the same heartbeat that  answer is given comes my silent question, which South Africa? ‘You’re criticising South Africa Rod, the country you grew up in, that fed and clothed you, gave you an education, everything you have. Not cool.’ The same question rises….which…

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Racism, an idea whose time has come, again

As Britain votes to leave the EU, Polish immigrants have come under fire with xenophobic and racist attacks in the bastion of parliamentary democracy. This is no coincidence, as millions of migrants from north Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle East pressurises the once hospitable European community on issues of immigration and race relations, there…

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They herded us into the aircraft like cattle

By Robtel Neajai Pailey I thought I’d become immune to the indignities of travelling with an African passport, but an encounter last month proved me wrong. After a series of meetings in Dakar, I travelled back to London via Madrid on a red-eye Iberia Airlines flight. Disembarking from the plane in Madrid in the early…

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White privilege: The more things change…

I gaped at the size of the property. I stood with the owner, Peter, on a side balcony of their spacious, slightly dilapidated home. Down below, the tennis courts were dwarfed by the ring of woods surrounding its fence. Some were sagging from the cascade of trees pushing through wires or pressing down the horizontal,…

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South Africa and other orphaning nations (Jani Allan Part II)

Even now, a quarter of a century later, here in Auckland, New Zealand, I have mentioned to other South Africans Jani Allan’s newly released memoir Jani Confidential and they respond, “so what was she doing with that idiot ET (Eugene Terre’Blanche)?” “For God’s sake,” I reply, “give the woman a break”. As Jani Allan says…

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SA govt must face court for xenophobic violence, migration policy

By Evans Wadongo The South African government will soon be in the country’s high court because petitioners from countries like Nigeria, Malawi and Zambia are displeased by the spate of xenophobic attacks and murders of migrants from their countries. These attacks and deaths have also sparked the #WeAreAfrica hashtag on social media, a 30 000 person…

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Xenophobia: SA government’s careless utterances could cost lives

“Foreign business owners in SA’s townships cannot expect to coexist peacefully with local business owners unless they share trade secrets.” These were the words of Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu when speaking about how government will tackle the looting and violence against foreign business owners. What this can be translated to is: “Give me…

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Migration, get used to it South Africa

One reason migration enters social and political agendas with greater frequency and salience currently in host societies is because it is seen as disturbing the sense of boundedness. Migrants call attention to the permeability of borders. They enter previously delineated and structured social, economic, cultural, political and, of course, physical spaces. The “threat” of migration…

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Poverty, inequality to blame for mayhem in Soweto

It is generally accepted that social unrest and other forms of instability are driven by multiple factors that have, for whatever reasons, been ignored for a long time. Poverty and unemployment are real and visible everywhere you go in the black townships. In such a depressing environment, all it needs is a spark to ignite…

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