Tragedy of the foreign nationals in South Africa. Bhekani Dube’s views

By Bhekani Dube


It is so painful to live in a foreign land, it was and will never be a choice in whatsoever.

Many people find themselves in a situation whereby they have to cross borders if not oceans, in search of greener pastures.

I once read an article by a certain pastor, that had a title saying: “As long as you chose to live in this land, you must abide by the rules that govern this land.” I did understand the sentiments of the whole story. For he was revealing the realities of life as a foreigner.

All heads of states take care of their citizens, like a family you cannot take care of a neighbor’s children better than yours. But still you cannot sideline the necessity of lending a helping hand to your needy neighbor.

We have been seeing a lot happening in our societies, whenever one negligent government official speaks a line that alarms foreign hatred. It fuels anger to the hungry societies and ends up looting shops and killing innocent souls.

In this period where the whole world finds itself in a situation that has stopped everything. Foreign nationals have been sacrificed or the situation have given companies a chance to reveal their hate towards foreigners.

Foul game towards our people

I wouldn’t say its companies exactly that have showed hatred of foreigners, but the system of the government has diplomatically retrenched all foreigners working in South Africa.

It doesn’t matter they are documented, with work permits or not, they don’t qualify for the money given by the government.

In some cases, there are companies like cleaning companies that are contracted in big industrial areas, their clients have paid them despite the lockdown, but they decided not to pay their workers. Instead they applied for the money from the government despite being paid by their clients.

That alone has affected the foreign nationals since the UIF, doesn’t cater for them. I may not understand how this money is given, but what I know is that these companies have played a foul game towards foreign nationals.

I ask myself, where is this thing going? If really, human beings are relegated to a lower level like this, and forced to live a pauper’s life like this?

What will be the final results of this situation?

We are just in level four of the lockdown, which might even go back to level five. Where will our brothers and sisters be? We fear this pandemic killer monster, and how would it be like when hunger is also added?

What transpired “us” to come down South leaving our beautiful homes back? It was the situation that no one could stop. And the same government that neglects us here in a foreign land, is the same that has been mandated to fix our problems at home and failed.

It pains me to read history books about the unit that was there in Zambia between Zipra forces and Umkhonto Wesizwe. Why our brothers have quickly forgotten about that?

This world is never friendly for the destitute

Have they really forgotten about the battles of Nampundu? Of Wankie where they forced the enemy to retreat? Why at this stage when we are all sailing in the same boat with Covid-19, but being sidelined in terms of social needs? Why is it only Zimbabweans who are labelled as foreign nationals?

My dear brothers and sisters, this world is never friendly for the destitute. This is high time we unite and stop talking tribal wars, but let’s fix our broken pieces. We left our homes for greener pastures, but now this virus has now destroyed every hope we had.

Let us think wiser than ever. If there would be a chance by any means, for us to go back home. Let’s stop hating ourselves by identifying each other by the places one comes from, or by tribes. This is high time to share ideas that will take us to the future we longed for.

As we await for what would happen after the sentence – Fellow South Africans – let’s unite for our better future back at home. We will never be at peace in a foreign land.

One day we will sing David’s Psalm, that says;
_By the rivers of Babylon, there sat down yea we wept, when we remembered Zion_
_We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof_
_For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song;_
_and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying sing us one of the songs of Zion_
_How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?_

My heart is in deep pain as I write this article. Because many of my fellow countrymen are dying out there. Who knows, maybe tomorrow it’s you or me.

May our good God who guided our brothers and fathers to fight against the stubborn Ian Smith and won us independence, fight our battles till we find ourselves at home sweet home.

Aluta Continua

Bhekani Dube is a correspondent for Zimbabwe Digital News. He writes in his personal capacity

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