earlier this year i put an ad out for a housemate to share my flat with me. i was not completely taken with the idea because i have had my fair share of difficult, crazy housemates. i had the ad out for about a month and interviewed a handful of people. at some point i got a call enquiring about the flatshare and the voice was softspoken, sweet and had a foreign accent that i could not quite place. the voice belonged to Nani who has now been my housemate since March.
Nani is congolese, is french speaking, completely strange and wonderfully interesting. she is also brilliant and entertaining and her laughter is infectious. it took some time for Nani to open up and share a bit of her life and self and stories and insight and take on life in general. i feel that we are friends and i am completely embarrassed and disgusted with my countrymen's behaviour towards african foreigners.
Nani, her family, friends and other foreigners in her situation are forced to be here in fear and for what when all they came to South Africa for is study and in some way create a better life for themselves which may not be possible in their own countries. Now they are forced to flee this place that could be said to be the 'land of the free'? Africa's equivalent of the once upon a time USA. A country where you can have a better life.
where is the respect for life, for your fellow human beings, for people who are in no better situations than the next South African, who are also surviving, trying to make a living, working hard and taking care of their families. where is the humanity. where is the love.