Touched by the xenophobic attacks targeting foreigners in South Africa, Zimbabwean gospel musician, Silence Shasha, has produced a song calling for an end to such killings and hostilities, urging African leaders to lead the way in ensuring there’s peace on the continent.
‘When is this going to end’ seeks answers from ordinary Africans and their leaders on when such attacks targeting the so-called foreigners will come to an end.
“I was pained by the news that was coming from South Africa about the killings and wanton destruction of the property owned by Africans who are not South Africa,” Shasha told VOA in an interview.
“What I am saying through the song is that we are one as Africans and should remain so. There is no need for us to use the artificial borders imposed on us by our former colonizers to attack each other in such a brutal fashion. We should stand together as Africans and not divide ourselves over issues that can be resolved through dialogue.”
At least seven people have died following the attacks that began three weeks ago targeting foreigners in South Africa. This follows similar attacks that left 62 people dead in 2008. Activists blame impunity for the continuing attacks against foreigners.
“These killings should come to an end whether in South Africa or Kenya,” says Shasha.
“So as a musician I thought this would be the best way that I can contribute to the debate to have Africans speaking about the need to end such horrendous acts on our continent. It should not happen in South Africa, it should not happen in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia or any other African country for that matter.”
South African musicians have been adversely affected by the xenophobic attacks with countries like the United Kingdom cancelling tours while countries like Zambia, Malawi and Nigeria have been leading the pack in boycotting South African goods and businesses following the attacks.
The countries want President Jacob Zuma’s government to do more to stem the attacks and ensure the perpetrators of the violence are brought to book but not for light offenses as is currently the case.
Activists want the government to prefer murder charges on some of those who have been arrested, charging lesser charges have seen the vicious cycle of xenophobic attacks continuing.