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Men's Roundtable The Nigerian in Diaspora: An endangered specie

Nigerians living in South Africa and other parts of the world have now become the targets of their hosts as they are attacked, killed and maimed at will.

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The Men's Roundtable play

The Men's Roundtable


Over the years, Nigeria has played the role of a big brother in Africa, often taking the problems of other countries in the continent on its head.

In fact, there has never been a conflict situation that Nigeria has not played an active role, sometimes leaving its domestic issues to face the troubles of other lands.

Billions of dollars, equipment, military forces, diplomats, and technocrats have been pumped into these conflicts to the detriment of the nation.

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Scene of xenophobic attack play

Scene of xenophobic attack

(Time Live)


Nigeria was at the forefront in the formation of a regional force called the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), a West African multilateral armed force established by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

During the struggle by South Africa to end apartheid, Nigeria threw its weight behind the struggle, pumping in billions of dollars into the struggle till the end of apartheid in April 1994.

During the struggle, Nigeria brought in South African students into the country's tertiary institutions, gave them scholarships, free accommodation and provided support for them, all in the name of being Africa's big brother.

But with their freedom guaranteed, the same South Africans have turned against Nigerians living there, inflicting grave harm on them in xenophobic attacks.


In the past five years, Nigerians living in South Africa have been attacked and killed, their businesses looted, their homes burnt down and their properties destroyed. The South Africans hate Nigerians so much that almost on a daily basis, they call for Nigerians to be sent out of their country.

Statistics have it that over 200 Nigerians have been killed in xenophobic attacks and they are always the targets of such attacks because the South Africans think Nigerians living there are dangerous criminals, drug barons, armed robbers, kidnappers and funnily, take their women.


A Nigerian writer, Kenneth Chukwuka Madiebo, who wrote a book entitled the Kwerekwere Testament: The Complete Chronicles, succinctly captured what Nigerians go through in South Africa where one can get killed over a mobile phone, how South Africans distrust Nigerians so much that they get mugged just for fun.

The hatred they have for even the honest and hard working Nigerians is legendary as they believe our people go there to take their jobs and women.

Just on Saturday, February 18, 2017, some South African youths took it upon themselves to attack Nigerians resident in Pretoria, looting and burning their shops and home, beating and injuring the Nigerians including a man of God.

The late Victor Nnadi play

The late Victor Nnadi



Even their police and other law enforcement agencies target Nigerians and kill them extra-judicially. Two months ago, a Nigerian suspected of being a drug kingpin was choked to death by the police in broad daylight and until now, the officers have not been prosecuted, lending credence to the fact that the government could subtly be supporting what they do.

But they conveniently forget that these are the same people who contribute immensely to their economic growth and that most of their big businesses thrive in Nigeria. Most of the big shopping outlets in Nigeria are owned by South Africans and Nigerians have continued to support and accommodate them.

The annoying thing is that our own government, over the years, have been docile, always blowing hot air when these attacks take place without taking actions to protect Nigerians in the Diaspora. Our people have now become endangered species in their continent due to the hatred and mistrust people have for us.


Yes, some Nigerians may be perpetrating some crimes in these countries but is that enough to place a blanket description of all Nigerians as criminals? Why is it that any hard working Nigerian who becomes successful is seen as a criminal and drug baron?

ALSO READ: "Men's Roundtable: Before corruption kills Nigeria..."

Why have Nigerians become so hated and derided by South Africans?

Do they know the consequences their actions would cause if Nigerians back home decide to take vengeance on their own businesses that dot every city in Nigeria?

A word is enough for the wise, that is if they are wise in all sense of the word.

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