South Africa (27th April 2014) is celebrating 20 years of democracy. This will obviously be a reflective moment about its make-up, its successes and developments, its setbacks, and most importantly its hopes.
There is a continually forgotten part of these 20 years of democracy being African foreigners in South Africa who are pushed to the margins of that reflectiveness. Many of the immigrant communities in South Africa, do not claim any special place but a place to be remembered in their existence, contributions and extension of friendship in many ways with South Africa in its time of struggle and its efforts to build itself as a democratic and developmental state.
As the Somali community in South Africa and surely not South Africans in democratic terms!, we trust Africa will wake up its potentialities and stand united, whom Nelson Mandela and Nkrumah hoped for a united Africa for. As for us, we forge ahead to integrate with local societies and define ourselves in this massive land of opportunities.
I think one way is to involve the local community through transfer of entrepreneurship in which we intent making business with. Workshops can be organized around to help local business men and women to sustain/scale like we do and learn from them also (two ways).
We exchange and share strategies, experiences and make them get involved in entrepreneurial skills that most of us possess and in that way the feel their businesses are not marginalized and out dated. Because these threats are a product of fear and not necessarily ignorance as it is usually stated.
I always share this sentiment with our colloquies/other foreigners and say to them if we were in our countries and we feel our interests are threatened, we would have re-acted perhaps without killing but the reaction would have been there. So, let’s involve the local businesses/communities and in that way we can achieve the safest results for our people.
I have given the problem & the opportunity a lot of thought and hope that my idea will motivate government departments, civic organisations, financial institutions and other interested stakeholders to take action using some of the ideas provided in this well articulated and written article by Saeed Furaa.
The article has been published by the great Pan African magazine, The Thinker, a South African thought leader magazine 2014.
You may download the full magazine and the article at:
Social Entrepreneur, Freelance Journalist