Soapie Queen pays tribute to SA xenophobia victims
Thursday, 24 September 2009 09:31
SOUTH Africa’s popular television star, Sophie Ndaba has condemned her country’s xenophobic attacks that left some 6,000 people homeless and 22 dead.
In an emotional tribute to the victims, Sophie who visited Namibia recently said she lived and was schooled in Zimbabwe without prejudice and failed to understand why others should be attacked in her own country.
In a question directed to her by Informanté during a press conference at the NBC TV on her arrival, the actress known as “Queen” for her role in the popular soapie “Generations” blasted the perpetrators calling on all Africans to live together.
The actress said this ahead of a Women’s Business Conference dubbed “Rise and Shine” – a brainchild of local TV personalities Catherine Shipushu and Surihe Gaomas hosted at the Kalahari Sands Hotel.
Sophie: “It’s totally wrong to do that. I have lived in other people’s countries and never experienced that. I was welcomed and they treated me as one of their own.
“We are one Africa. Whether you are from Zimbabwe or other countries, we should treat each other with respect and dignity. Attacking people in any way is not acceptable.”
The attacks on foreigners affected Africans, Indians and Chinese. Those most affected were from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria and Namibia.
Sophie regretted that some people could go to the level of killing others just because they are foreigners.
She reminisces on how she struggled growing up in a Zimbabwean orphanage and falling pregnant at 16, and received support from her Zimbabwean guardians – an experience that she said, shaped her life.
“At that tender age, I learned how to live with people. They never saw me as a South African but as a young girl looking for opportunities. Actually, I felt like I was more Zimbabwean that South African.”
According to reports, immigrants have become a scapegoat for social problems, such as unemployment, crime and a lack of housing.
Many of those who were affected and sought refuge in police stations, churches and community halls were Zimbabweans, who fled violence and poverty at home.
Up to three million Zimbabweans are thought to be in SA.