Oluwatosin Adeoye, one of the Nigerians evacuated from South Africa following xenophobic attacks in that country, tells SIMON UTEBOR that the xenophobes don’t value human lives
What is your name?
My name is Oluwatosin Adeoye. I am from Ogun State.
What were you doing in South Africa?
I was a caterer.
Why did you choose to return to Nigeria?
I returned because South African citizens burnt my shop in Johannesburg.
How long were you in South Africa?
I was there for seven years.
What were your experiences like in South Africa?
It was horrible, horrendous and nightmarish. I blame myself for going to South Africa in the first place. I found out that all the things I had been doing for seven years went down the drains. I have nothing to show for the seven years I spent in South Africa. I have come back empty-handed.
What do you hope to do in Nigeria now that you are back?
I am a caterer; I know I can start from somewhere. I need help seriously. I am seriously downcast.
Did the Nigerian government respond at the right time?
Yes, they responded quickly. They also promised to help us. If they can do that, I will be very happy.
What advice do you have for other Nigerians in South Africa?
I advise them to come back home. Even living in South Africa is tough. The money we make there, after paying rents and feeding, there is nothing left. It is not easy to send money back home to our parents. People are suffering there. Again, the lives of Nigerians there are at risk. They kill Nigerians there; they do not like us at all. They slaughter people like animals. It is an awful experience.
Where were you staying in South Africa?
I was in Johannesburg. That city is something else. They take pleasure in killing Nigerians. They kill people like dogs; in fact, they value the lives of animals more than humans. They are the Devil incarnate. There is nothing in South Africa again but sorrow, despair, agony, and tears. I advise Nigerians there to return home in their own interest.
Why do they attack Nigerians?
The reason some of them give is that some of our Nigerian brothers are dealing in drugs, and engaging in criminality. But from the look of things, they are simply jealous of Nigerians. Some also say that our brothers are sleeping with their sisters and that their ladies no longer agree to date them because of Nigerian men.
Why don’t Nigerian ladies date South African men?
I do not like their men. Most of their men are uncircumcised and how can one date such people? Also, they are lazy in bed – they can’t perform well. Again, they are lazy to do anything.
How much did you lose to the attack?
In fact, if I tell you the amount I lost, I will start crying because I know I cannot get it back.
Can you say it?
They burnt my car, my shop, and everything. I lost almost R100,000 (approximately N2.5m) in my shop.