Being against xenophobia is the same as encouraging it?

Apparently that’s so. Nando’s most recent advert was designed to promote diversity in the country. It did this by humorously making all the foreigners disappear in a puff of smoke till all that was left were the Khoisan. If I remember correctly (I can’t view the ad at current) it ended saying something like “True South Africans appreciate diversity.” The message is an important one, we come from all over but where you come from doesn’t matter. We are all humans and should all learn to live with each other.

Apparently the message just wasn’t obvious enough for the SABC, who decided to pull the ad. They claimed that it had a “xenophobic undertone.” How an anti-xenophobia ad can have a xenophobic undertone is beyond me. Unfortunately, various other broadcasters have also pulled the ad. ETV said that the ad trivialised xenophobia, although strangely it took them a few days to come to that conclusion.

The advert is exactly what needs to be said. We are a diverse country and we must embrace that diversity. It’s group-thinking that is causing problems in the country. White vs Black. Xhosa vs Zulu. South AFrican vs foreigner. We can’t keep hiding all our problems and expect them to go away. We need to bring them out in the open and work to solve them. I think a very important part of that is to view everyone as humans and get away from racial, tribal and political affiliations. People from Johannesburg don’t worry about people from Pretoria or Cape Town taking their jobs. (At least I hope not and I’m not aware of that sort of problem.) That’s because we see us all as South Africans. But whether we are born in Cape Town, Johannesburg, London, Tokyo, New York or Nairobi is an accident of fate beyond our control. We shouldn’t discriminate against people because their parents happened to live inside a different, arbitrary border. We need to realise that we are a global society and all work together to improve everyone’s lot.

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2 thoughts on “Being against xenophobia is the same as encouraging it?

  1. “The advert is exactly what needs to be said. We are a diverse country and we must embrace that diversity.”

    As long as we are not Zulus with backward irrational African ethics that practice polygamy which clashes with the Western, Secular [Judeo-Christian] Humanist value system.

  2. Pingback: Updates: Aan and Nando’s | Evidence & Reason

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