He explained in reference to Africans from other countries, “They see themselves as outsiders and engage in all manner of crime including drug trafficking, prostitution and many other ills. They don’t see themselves first as children of Africa.”
“Africa has taught her children the value of honesty, kindness and respect to human life. But it appears that when some people come to South Africa, they abandon all these good qualities in their home countries,” Fr. Clement regretted.
However, straightforward people including those genuinely coming to pursue their studies, to practice work in health facilities and education institutions and to generally contribute to the growth of South Africa are usually caught up in the attacks, according to the Cleric who condemns cultural intolerance, saying that xenophobic attacks should be a thing of the past.
Similar intolerance, he said, has been observed in Nigeria where locals try to push out Ghanaians and those from many other African countries because of intolerance.
(Story continues below)
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He said that some African countries have held onto a culture set by colonial governments that set tribes against each other, leaving behind deep rooted tribal dominance over others.
He urged Africans to rid themselves off tribal pride since all are children of God “with an obligation to re-write our stories.”
“Let us celebrate our diversity as an enrichment to our very human lives. It is important to understand that your culture is only the beginning, not the end and other cultures add a perspective to your life as well. At the end, we all realize that we are citizens of one whole universe,” he said.
Also threatening South Africa’s cultural diversity is corruption, which Fr. Clement said, is “an illusion that creates few bad guys while a majority are left to languish in poverty.”
“Many people lost jobs; roads, hospitals and schools have not been constructed because of corruption. This means that children will be born in a very dilapidated economy,” the Cleric told ACI Africa September 24.
He added in conclusion, “We have not inherited our land from our ancestors but borrowed it from our future. We owe everything to the future. Corruption steals from the future of our children.”
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.