ON A SERIOUS NOTE: LEARNING NOTHING FROM ONE'S UGLY PAST IS A DISPOSITION OF MENTAL ILLNESS By Chris Onyishi.

The two Presidents.

It's a shame that South Africans didn't learn anything from their past. For a country that was under the lock and key of the Boer for over 5 decades to be cannibalizing the peoples of the country that spent the same peoples resources to fight for their liberation is an attitude hinging on mental disorder.


From 1948 to somewhere around April 1994, South Africans were reduced to animals by the Boer. Sign posts indicated to the whites to be careful because they were approaching a native cluster. That's an indication that the whites regarded native South Africans as barbaric and violent people.

They were never allowed near white schools. They served in the mines and occasionally when they revolted because of indignant treatments from the whites, the whites shot and killed them like monkeys.

This was the condition South Africans found themselves in for several decades until Nigerian government felt so bad and decided to play the big brother to their continental relations and wadded in against the apartheid regime with gargantuan resources. In 1970, Nigeria started an annual subvention of $5m to the ANC and PAC. That value should be in billions of dollars if converted at today's rate.

In 1976, Nigeria again, started a relief fund know as Southern Africa Relief fund (SARF) which main objective was to bring relief to victims of South African apartheid regime. OBJ's regime contributed $3.7m while himself made a personal donation of $3,000 to the fund. Each member of his regime made a donation of $1,500 each. These donations were tagged "Mandela Tax".

Besides, many activist South African leaders and Students were given free passage into Nigeria on asylum bases. Nigeria stopped sell of oil to South African government in protest to apartheid and in the process lost almost $40b in trade balances. Meanwhile, as early as 1960, Nigeria had set up National Committee Against Apartheid (NACAP).

"From 1960 to 1995, Nigeria has alone spent over $61 billion to support the end of apartheid, more than any other country in the world, according to the South African Institute of International Affairs". Nigeria's incursion with the support of other nations forced the then President, FW de Klerk, to start repealing most of the legislation that formed the basis for the South African Boer dominated apartheid system.

These efforts - by good spirited nations; Zambia, Tanzania, then Soviet Union, etc, - spearheaded by Nigeria culminated in the collapse of apartheid and eventual transition to civil rule where ANC's long incarcerated South African activist, Nelson Mandela, became the first black post-apartheid President of the country in 1994.

All the above were Nigeria's contribution to the demolition of apartheid in South Africa. And this is the country humiliating Nigerian citizens the most in Africa. "Nigeria wasn't even allowed to speak during the death and funeral of Mandela. On the other hand, the representatives of the US and the UK, two countries supporting the apartheid regime, were in the spotlight during President Mandela`s burial. Nigerians still need visas to travel to South Africa, while the French, who used to back the apartheid regime, can just buy a ticket and go wherever they want".

The post-apartheid South Africa has been nothing to write home about after the initial 4 years of Mandela. The sage would be moaning in his grave about the unruly attitude of his countrymen towards one of the most prominent ally of South Africa throughout their black years. It'd appear that the saying that "you can bring the monkey out of the bush but the bush still remains in the monkey" is a truism, after all. For the same South Africa to turn around and begin to fight the principal actor in the fight for their liberation tells a lot of stories. Could it be that the Boer were right to have reduced them to mere animals all through the apartheid era?

Or could it be the treatment of apartheid etched this mentality of ingratitude into these South African psyche? If they can be doing all these at this time that the circumstances of their past are still fresh, even in the minds of very young people, what would become the behavior of these people to their neighbors when the whole incident of apartheid would have been lost in the pool of history?

These xenophobic South African zealots are too lazy to read their own history to understand the factors and circumstances of their own liberation. The question agitating any rational individual's mind is, "where did Nigeria offend South Africa"? As bad as this attitude of these South Africans may be, the most annoying aspect is the nonchalant attitude of the "leaders" of both countries.

Nigerian government should commence forthwith a harsh diplomatic reprisal that would bring these ingrates back to their senses. How they do that should be best known to the foreign and internal affairs teams. Nigeria doesn't have a quarter - in South Africa - of the South African companies in Nigeria.
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Chris Onyishi (chrisonyishi@gmail.com).