Tag Archive: about xenophobia



the following was written within a South African context, but sadly i feel similar emotions when hearing Mr. Trump, a person who may one day have the authority to use nuclear weapons, repeatedly make blatantly xenophobic and racist utterances.

Mr. Trump perhaps should be made aware of the ancient African concept of ‘uBuntu’ – uBuntu is an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”

“I am because we are”


in the belly of xenophobia.

when you see them,
passing by your pretty green avenues,

grab your garden rake,
stone the encroaching horde,

they take our jobs,
they marry our women,

put them all
to the sword,

“bloody foreigners”



leeching off our taxes,
stinking up the neighborhood,

send them all home,
or better still,
build walls,

seal the borders,
and don’t allow “them” into our fair country,

seek them out in every street,

in every bar,
and finish them off,
one by one,

finish and klaar,

and rest assured,

if not that,
then atleast fuhrer trump and all his cash,

will find you as many  scapegoats you wish to gleefully bash.


* – ‘klaar’ is Afrikaans for ‘finished’


A Finnish Karelian and a South African Refugee (1990)

this is not a scribble.

this is living memory.

in 1990, we were in exile in Finland, where my father represented the African National Congress (ANC) at the World Peace Council (WPC) in Helsinki.

it was a tumultuous time.

the Wall had come down.

Nelson Mandela was a free man and arrangements were being made for us, along with so many political exiles, to return to South Africa.

it was around that time that we were invited to a Finnish comrades home for a meal.

during the course of the evening I saw my mother hugging an elderly lady, who appeared to be sobbing, on my mom’s shoulder.

it was on the metro ride back to our apartment on an island just east of Helsinki that mom told us the following:

that old lady was a Karelian Finn, who after the 1940 Winter War (Talvisota in Finnish) found herself among so many who had to flee Karelia and became refugees in their own country.

the old lady broke down and recalled her days as a refugee in the merciless Finnish winter of 1940.

you see, my mom and that old lady who’s name i dont even know shared a bond that transcended race colour religion political social and ideological boundaries.

my mom and the fellow refugee shared a human connection of shared pain, displacement, and loss and hurt.

long may the humanity of ordinary people live on, often the poorest and most deprived and ostracised and banished who constantly cling onto the threads and fragile strands that make us human.

they remind us
they shame us

they jab us to open our eyes
they prod us to do more

and they tell us
what we know
but what we often forget …

that we, the people, shall always, always be many many more



with many thanks to the Kallio family of Helsinki, Finland.

for Anja, Jussi, Antti, Matti, Miikko & Liisa Kallio

thank you for your warmth and generosity of spirit and for your friendship



searching for better days …

seizing breaths

breaths ever fleeing

holding on

fingers raw
mind a sprawl

while below

the cackling sniggering chasm


souls numb absolved as dumb
hearts hard admiringly referred to as being hardy

ever on
and on

making a stink

deeper into

inviting arms
plush sofas
leather chairs

plastic smiles
promises of far too many miles

all yet to be trodden upon

many yet to be trampled on

but all that too shall be all lost in the haze

while scavenging


trampling onwards

ever on
and upon


just chasing the dream, man …

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