“And knowing their thoughts, He said to them. Any kingdom that is divided against itself is being brought to desolation and laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will last or continue to stand.” Without any iota of exaggeration, the foregoing scriptural injunction which is written in the Bible in the book of Matthew chapter 12 verse 25 is by each passing day coming into fulfillment through diverse crises that have erupted across African countries.
For instance, precisely on April 14, 2015, the global media was agog with the news of xenophobia attacks by some few misguided South Africans against African immigrants. As a result of the attacks that reportedly started from Durban and Johannesburg, the first reported casualties were that two foreigners and three South Africans, including a 14-year old boy were feared dead. As expected in a house that is divided against itself, the attacks were not just carried out by xenophobes but they were ostensibly incited and stirred up by the inflammatory statement made by King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu of the Zulu nation. According to media reports, the Zulu king accused the African immigrants in South Africa of being responsible for the high rates of crime and unemployment in the country, and on account of that directed that they should go back to their respective countries. Even if the king was reported to have denied the inflammatory speech credited to him, one may not be wrong to say that if the Africa that is in this context referred to as a house is in order, the zulu king would have been generous enough to allowed African youths that literarily ran to South Africa for greener pasture and to drink from the fountains of academic and professional knowledge that abound in South Africa universities and colleges to go about their businesses without any fear of xenophobic molestation.
Also read: Xenophobia: We are all guilty
The reality of the fact that Africa is divided against itself like the divided biblical house that was spoken of by the Lord Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew became more glaring when the reactions that trailed the xenophobic attacks ironically became more xenophobic than the what were being protested against. For instance, as soon as the news of the xenophobic attacks spread across other African countries, the collective anger of the youths who were bent on revenge mission was kindled as they took to social media platforms where they uncontrollably engaged in disseminating incendiary comments. Not only where incendiary comments made against the South Africans in offices, in the markets and at the bus-stops, their businesses that ironically engaged millions of youths in full time employments were mischievously mentioned for sabotage.
To my view, the house called Africa ought to have been together in love, peace and unity and not divided against itself as the reality on ground suggests. It is expedient to mention in this piece that this contextual divided house is not what African’s departed leaders dreamt of. The Africa they dreamt of can be inferred from the speeches and statements they made at different political and social events during their earthly journey.
There is no denying the fact that inference can be drawn from one of the speeches made by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in an Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit in Cairo on July 19, 1964 where he was quoted to have said that “…We must unite for economic viability, first of all, and then to recover our mineral wealth in Southern Africa, so that our vast resources and capacity for development will bring prosperity for us and additional benefits for the rest of the world. That is why I have written elsewhere that the emancipation of Africa could be the emancipation of man.”
In order to keep Africa as a house that is not divided against itself, it is enough to say that Africans should begin to emulate departed Africans leaders that have had to bury their differences and embraced themselves, even when there was enough reason to fight.
On the part of South Africans, they should at all times exhibit brotherly love that would always reinforce the belief of other Africans and the world that the exemplary life which Dr. Nelson Mandela lived truly made impact in their lives. AS it is well known, Dr. Nelson Mandela never resorted to violence in his struggle for the emancipation of South Africa. He was a strong advocate of love, peace and unity as reflected in most of his quotes that are available in most libraries across the world. For 20 years he directed a campaign of peaceful, non-violent against the then South African government and its racist policies. Above all, he was never xenophobic. With this, all Africans saw him as a father; even with those living in the most remotest village in Nigeria.
I must confess that whatever efforts that need to be made in ensuring that Africa would not continue be divided against itself should be made without delay.
Royal fathers in Africa should always have it at the back of their minds that both aborigines and sojourners that reside within their chiefdoms deserve to be treated as equal and not to be discriminated against.
For most South Africans that subscribe to the Christian faith, they should not forget the biblical injunction in Exodus 22 verse 21 that says "And you shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt and also in Exodus chapter 23 verse 9 that says "And you shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt. “ Not only are they expected to obey the foregoing biblical injunctions but they should pass the biblical messages across to xenophobes.
Finally, Africans should ensure that the house called Africa should not be divided against itself as we are all brothers and sisters.
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