My Name is Xenophobia

Society & Culture | By Baynham Goredema, Designer | 05 April 2013

My name is Xenophobia, I got that name from my dad Xeno, (Xeno - is a prefix for the Greek word "Xenos", meaning stranger) and mom Phobia (from the Greek word for "morbid fear"). Being their only child, my parents thought that it was "cool" to join their names together. After centuries of touring the world I was not going to miss the world’s biggest sporting spectacle, the 2010 soccer World Cup. For the first time ever it will be in Africa- South Africa! It’s certainly not my first time in South Africa where I was all over the news in 2008! I am sure my parents were proud of me!

Throughout the soccer showcase I kept a low profile, but was disappointed to see my favorite team go out, thanks to that darn Octopus, Paul. Anyway, all of a sudden I'm back in the news! I love the attention, and the funny thing is that nobody has actually even seen me yet! At least that’s what they are saying. Many predict that I will come out of "hiding" after the final match and have warned people about my retribution. Officials downplay this as a rumor in various townships, peddled by criminal elements pretending to be me. Can you believe that? I was there! Do you want me to start burning stuff and announce my presence through a megaphone? Actually whenever I come, I limit my movements to the townships, informal settlements and squatter camps.

According to media reports, July 11, 2010 is the last day for all the foreigners to legalize their status or ship out. After this I will strike down with great vengeance and furious anger those who remain. No more keeping a low profile, FIFA had their 15 seconds of fame, now it’s my turn! I am also looking to hog the news channels and newspapers. But before all this I need to set the record straight as to why I am so mad and why I have decided to express my anger now. I am hearing all sorts of things about me, people saying I am here to “resolve” the issue of foreigners taking wives, jobs and business from South African residents who are competing for scarce resources and amenities hence the issue of service delivery. Please! nothing can be further from the truth.

I am here because I have a problem with Zimbabweans. Though in general Zimbabweans are well educated hard workers with a genuine reason for coming to South Africa, I also have a reason why I left my country. What really makes my skin boil is that they spell Zimbabwe with a 'Z'. Now, you can take people’s jobs and get away with a slap on the wrist, take their business and they will just start another one elsewhere, heck! Even take their wives, they will probably find another one, but to take away the almighty 'X' and replace it with a "Z"! You will NOT get away with that. Imagine if 'Z' marked the spot? That's totally uncool. Do you know the infinite connotations of replacing 'X' with 'Z'? I could go on all night telling you why 'Z' just doesn't work. By using 'Z' instead of 'X' you have caused a lot of insecurity amongst South African residents. Hence I have been called to resolve this great transgression and to level off the playing field. All Zimbabweans are to leave South Africa for at least 10 days and ensure that the next time they enter South Africa all their Passports/ETDs/Asylums have the 'Z' in Zimbabwe replaced with an 'X', otherwise they will not be allowed to enter the Republic. Once these conditions are met then and ONLY then will I pack my bags and leave South Africa…