There was a time when the rest of continent had been liberated and South Africa was the only nation left. Countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia and many others stood with you in your yearning for majority rule, democracy, and the end of apartheid.
These countries and their people not only used their resources and newfound freedom to fight for yours, but gave you refuge and social and political shelter too. I went to school with South Africans, families that had fled for greener pastures and some of whom are still very good friends to this very day. Their journeys were tragic, their stories were powerful, and their hope, inspiring.
And now when the tables have turned and it’s Zimbabweans, Nigerians and other Africans that need refuge and help as they flee political, social, and economic oppression, the lessons and favors of the past are forgotten and the real causes of what is fueling people’s xenophobia and violence are ignored: corruption, bad policies, bad governance, and scapegoating.
What has the course of human history taught us? We live in a world in which our fates as individuals, communities, countries, and a planet are intertwined. We only get better as a species by accepting this truth and treating each other the way we would want to be treated if the tables were turned. And when the tables were turned in the 80s and 90s, and it was South Africans trying to find refuge in those neighboring and far off countries, you were treated with kindness, empathy, and acceptance in those many places whose citizens you now beat and murder today.
Kwapi Vengesayi is an Amazon bestselling author whose books explore captivating musings and thought-provoking conversations about love, relationships, life and our human experience. You can find his book on Amazon. You can also follow him on Twitter @kwapiv or subscribe to his blog at kwapiv.com