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READ: Xenophobia in South Africa: A Vision Ghana’s First President Kwame Nkrumah Warned Africa About in the 1960s

Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, warned as far back as the 1960s that African states attaining independence from European colonial oppressors had to be guarded as political independence without economic independence was fraught with many challenges.

Displaying an envious understanding of the threats faced by the new states and the ploys of their former colonial oppressors, the man who authored a lot of books even as president warned African states gaining freedom was only one phase of the battle won. He noted that if those states did not control their economic fortunes, they risked being decimated.

With new attacks by South Africans on other African nationals, chiefly Nigerians, many Africans have expressed anger at the attacks, reminding the people from the rainbow nation of the support countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe gave them that ultimately led to their independence in 1994.

Since Monday, mobs have been looting shops and torching trucks driven by foreigners in various parts of South Africa. The African nationals are blamed for taking people’s jobs; others accuse them of pushing drugs.

In these waves of attacks, immigrants normally targeted are from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries who are accused of taking all the jobs and engaging in criminal activities. Pic credit: Yahoo News

The attacks on foreign stores began a day after South African truckers started a nationwide strike on Sunday to protest against the employment of foreign drivers, reports the BBC. They blocked roads and torched foreign-driven vehicles mainly in the south-western KwaZulu-Natal province.

Police say five people have been killed and 189 people have been arrested.

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Below is Nkrumah’s acute diagnosis in his 1970 book, “Class Struggle in Africa” of what is inevitable in many African states, including South Africa if the resources of the country did not benefit citizens but foreign nationals. On page 66, he stated:

“In neocolonialist states where there are immigrant workers, and where unemployment is rife … the anger of workers is surreptitiously fomented and directed by the neocolonialist puppet regime not so much against its own reactionary policies as against the “alien” workers. It is they who are blamed for the scarcity of jobs, the shortage of houses, rising prices and so on.

Nkrumah’s Class Struggle via openlibrary.org

The result is that the African immigrant worker is victimized both by the government and by his own fellow workers.

The government brings in measures to restrict immigration, to limit the opportunities of existing immigrants, and to expel certain categories. The indigenous workers for their part, are led to believe by the government’s action, that the cause of unemployment and bad living conditions is attributable in large measure to the presence of immigrant workers. Mass feeling against them is aroused, and helps to increase any already existing national and ethnic animosities. Instead of joining with immigrant workers to bring pressure on the government, many of them strongly support measures taken against them. In this they show lack of awareness of the class nature of the struggle; and the bourgeoisie benefit from the split among the ranks of the working class.

Workers are workers, and nationality, race, tribe and religion are irrelevancies in the struggle to achieve socialism.

In the context of the African socialist revolution there is no justification for regarding non-African workers as a hindrance to economic progress, and there is similarly no justification for the victimization and the expulsion of migrant African labour from one territory or another. In Africa there should be no African “alien”. All are Africans. The enemy-wall to be brought down and crushed is not the African “alien” worker but balkanisation and the artificial territorial boundaries created by imperialism.”

Will this call be heeded by the African people and worked on, guided by their leaders?

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  1. & now you should know EXACTLY just how AFRICAN AMERICANS FELT with a heavy influx load of Mexicans entering the states hollering about all the work they could do for pennies on the dollar (change like wages VS. cash) meanwhile blatantly overlooking all the people THAT HAD TO GO TO SCHOOL & UNDERGO TRAINING FOR THESE JOBS & POSITIONS & not really understanding that we were already the underdog so this was THE ONE CHANCE that many of us had born in America by force to try to put food on the table & maybe @ some point attend a junior college that would lead to a university but IT DIDN’T MATTER THE COMPANIES AGENDA WAS MORE MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS TO HELL WITH US HECK THEY DIDN’T ASK US TO DO ALL THAT CRAP 🤣/😢 this after all that training & money owed & then to have to watch them allow immigrants in THAT MOCKED US when would see us have to subject ourselves to fast food & cleaning jobs (we to lazy we stupid probably can’t read that kind of mess) we went through all of that but still we couldn’t burn their businesses down nor them all we could do is take whatever work that was left regardless the pay & wait patiently on the most high & MANY OF US ARE STILL WAITING ✊🏿 BECAUSE WE KNOW HE DON’T FORGET ✊🏿

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