Tough, yet hopeful living for Nigerians in South Africa

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Despite the many issues that should ordinarily discourage many Nigerians from seeking refuge in South Africa, thousands queue for the South Africa visa in Lagos and Abuja while hundreds make their way to the country every month, especially through the country’s airline, SAA.

But beyond the difficulties in getting and renewing the visa and also the likelihood of being target of attacks when they finally make it to the country, Nigerians visit and reside in South Africa more than any other African country.

Of course, there has been an outcry against xenophobia, which had claimed many lives few years after South Africa’s independence in 1994 including Nigerians. In the most recent incident in Kwazulu-Natal Province, the perpetrators of the attacks were warning other African nationals to leave their country or face the worst manslaughter in the history of South Africa after the elections on May 8, 2019.

Well, May 8 has come and gone with no incident of attack on other African nationals yet. Also, it seems the African National Congress (ANC), which won the presidential elections, though with fewer majorities, is determined to redeem its several assurances of safety of lives and property of other Africans in the country.

Despite the apparent safety, some Nigerians in the country are at alert as attacks could happen, especially in the poor townships and settlements where there is fierce competition with equally poor African immigrants for scarce resources and opportunities.

But why visit or live in South Africa, if one may ask? The good life, world-class facilities, orderliness and even the well-shaped women are top among reasons Nigerians still flock the ‘Rainbow Country’ in the face of several challenges.

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