I was there when the xenophobia attacks took place. I watched people being beaten up, their goods taken by people. It was a very sad day, sadder when children and mothers were crying asking people to forgive them. I was angry with the people, can’t they see these people are hopeless?
These people just came here to get jobs, to look after their family and find peace. I remember blood was all over and my people had no shame. They had no shame at all, they didn’t care. They were laughing at them, shouting at them saying, ‘mazihambe ezizinto la makwiri kwiri.’
All the bad things were done to them, and I was there to see all of that. It’s when I called my friends and I told them we must do something about this. And we did. The Treatment Action Campaign was there to help us.
We took people to the community hall, we cooked for them. Treatment Action Campaign was there to provide clothes, blankets, food and medical. We were there with them sleeping at the hall. Even though help was there, It was still painful to see babies crying the whole night sleeping on the floor and knowing my child is happy at home with love and shelter.
Victims appreciated the help that we gave to them. We also went house to house with them to collect their goods. That was not fun at all. The people didn’t want to give them back their goods, but we tried to get some of their clothes.
This week we, Siyakhona Khayelitsha, have been going to some of the Khayelitsha areas, to show them our stories. We included the story we did about the Xenophobia attacks. Doing that we wanted communities to say how they feel about this issue. But it was surprising to here people commenting, saying they don’t want Xenophobia in their areas. And in my heart I was happy to hear them and in my mind, I always knew this year it was no Xenophobia. It was just crime activities hiding behind Xenophobia.
For that I think if we continue screening stories that are focusing on the problems of the community, we will be one of the people who can make change in our communities. We must all ask our community for solutions or call for action. I Phakama I will not stand and watch and not do anything about this issue. I will continue fighting against Xenophobia. Any African is my brother or sister!!