In a bid to diffuse the growing tension between South Africa and other African nations, Mzansi’s celebs have come out to strongly condemn the xenophobic attacks by South Africans on foreign nationals

To describe the relationship between South Africans and African nationals as ‘tense’ right now would be an understatement. The tension has been fuelled by a number of factors in recent weeks, most notably: the police clampdown on counterfeit goods sold by undocumented foreigners in South Africa, the subsequent retaliation by illegal migrants, and most recently the looting and vandalism of stores owned by foreign nationals.

Of all the countries to be spotlighted, Nigerians seem to have gained the worst PR in the dominant headlines over the past few weeks. Undocumented Nigerians have long been the victim of a stereotype linking them to drug trafficking and other illegal trades, and recent clashes have allowed this type of xenophobic typecasting to continue.

On Monday, many parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria were gripped by violent protests, after disgruntled South Africans attacked and looted foreign-owned stores in the CBD of the cities. Realising that the tension between the nations had risen to boiling point, a number of celebrities tried their best to combat the xenophobic attacks across the country.

Dr Malinga and L-Tido were among the first to call for an end to xenophobia in South Africa:

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Meanwhile, Nadia Nakai shared a video of herself taken in Lagos, Nigeria

In the video, Nadia is seen visiting Ojuelegba, a popular neighbourhood in the city (yes, the same one Wizkid sang about) and she notes how warmly she is received by her African brothers and sisters.

Cassper Nyovest added his voice to the debate:

These recent xenophobic clashes have not gone unnoticed across the continent.

Nigerian celebrities have also taken a moment to speak out against what is going on in South Africa, including one of their most popular singers, Banky W:

At the time of writing the violence in Johannesburg has continued to boil over, with reports claiming that Nigerian nationals are retaliating against protesters and vandals who looted foreign-owned stores.

The cries against xenophobia have been as audible as the protests against illegal trade in South Africa, but louder than both of these combined has been the deafening silence from those in power.