Sam Cowen presents: #ImAForeigner

The world's attention has been on Africa, but more specifically on South Africa as the country has been seeing violent xenophobic scenes where people from across the continent have been victims of violence and deaths.

Government and media and indeed many other South Africans have been spreading messages of #NoToXenophobia. Sam Cowen, who herself was not born in South Africa spoke about being raised in an apartheid South Africa where white people enjoyed certain privileges. Sam spoke about the love and comfort she enjoyed from South Africans ever since she and her family relocated here when she was young girl.

Kojo Baffoe - Former editor of Destiny Man and poet with Ghanaian roots.

Sam Cowen invited another non-South African, Kojo Baffoe who has German and Ghanaian origins but has lived and studied in South Africa and Lesotho. Kojo is a poet and a media personality who also has a few magazines in his belt as a former editor of Blaque and Destiny Man to name a few. He has also worked for the Post Office and has dabbled in radio.

Kojo Baffoe spoke about how it's always awkward when he has conversations about South Africa and have people remind him that he's not from here, as if he can't have an opinion about the community he's lived within for many years and the only place he can truly call home because he's spent most of his life in. Answering the issue of whether South Africans take things for granted hence people who are not from here push harder, Kojo says it's a layered issue and that his view on the subject has changed since the start of the xenophobic attacks.

Kojo has a South African wife and his children were born here, he loves the country not only because of those reasons but because it has been his home proudly for many years. He says it's important that his children grow up knowing their origins and that they are first, Africans. For more of the #ImAForeigner chat between Sam and Kojo, listen here...

Akin Omotoso - Born in Nigeria, film maker/Director & actor/voice over artist.

You may remember the vodacom advert featuring two (not so young) men, a white balding one and a black, more reserved and seemingly smarter one. These are Michael De Pinna and Prof Kole Omotoso (below). Why this "connection"? Well the seemingly smarter one was once professor of English at the University of the Western Cape and a professor in the Drama Department at Stellenbosch University, but more relevant to this subject, has a son called Akin. Akin has been in South Africa since 1992 when his parents relocated to South Africa after his dad got a job here. He shared his joy and respect and the love he's received from South Africans.

Akin Omotoso (below) has acted in some of this country's top productions like Generations and known for films like Blood Diamond, Lord of War and his voice can be heard on many TV adverts and films. He upgraded himself to producer with the TOM Pictures team and did films like Man On Ground, which was about the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa, and seven years later the topic comes up again.

Talking about his film Man On Ground, which took about three years to make Akin says it was important for them as film makers not only to make an entertaining product but touch on some kind of activism, and this birthed a project called "Tell them we're from here". Touching on the recent xenophobic attacks, Akin says the issue is not necessarily trying to find out what is wrong or what the problem is because that is very clear, the main objective should be what do we do now and what is the solution? Listen to Akin Omotoso's chat with Sam Cowen below...

Lee Kasumba. Ugandan, media personality and heading up Channel O Africa.

Leslie "Lee" Kasumba was born in Uganda and has Cuban roots, but even she would struggle to commit to one country as her home because travelling has always been a part of her life and being a wanderlust is one of many gifts Lee got from her parents. But she mentions South Africa as a country she shares a great love with and that it has defined her life, to a large extent. Lee was one of the many vibrant and driven radio presenters at Yfm many years ago and has never looked back since.

An African through and through, Lee says she has been reminded more than once that she was a foreigner in South Africa and this is part of why she was part of a documentary tilted "Not In My Lifetime" in collaboration with South African rapper Slikour from the group Skwatta Kamp, aimed at raising awareness no xenophobia.

The first scenes of xenophobic violence in 2008 scared Lee a lot but she says the recent ones are even worse and something no one can ignore, or should ignore. She says that history has taught us that things can go very wrong very fast and she was always on edge but drew a lot of encouragement from how the media and many other regular South Africans stood up against xenophobia and the killings of other Africans.

Lee Kasumba believes that as much as many Africans stood up against xenophobic attacks, if it were in European countries she feels that the leaders there could have stood up and seriously condemned it and made sure it never resurfaces. She says she doesn't feel that African leaders did what they are capable of and what is expected by their African citizens because xenophobia is not a South African issue but an issue that affects the entire continent. Lee feels that #Xenophobia is more than just a hashtag.

To listen to the conversation between Sam and Lee, click below..

Joe Crann, soccer journalist from England.

Joe Crann came to South Africa a few years ago to cover The World Cup and the magic of South Africa caught him and he never left! He was working for Laduma and they offered him a full time job and even though Phillip left, Joe decided to stay and hasn't looked back ever since. He says the one thing that really made him fall in love with the country was the people and their incredibly friendly nature. Many other non-South Africans came to South Africa as children and because family relocated but Crann is no ordinary Joe! He came to South Africa in 2006 and made a return trip in 2010 to cover the World Cup and safe to say, he scored himself a new home! He's from Sheffield in the UK and says he's always been around foreigners in his life and also because he loves travelling he enjoys meeting new people. Joe fell in love with Cape Town but later on realized the Jozi magic. He spoke to Sam Cowen about some of the conversations he's had with people from different walks of life in South Africa.

Joe Crann spoke about the sadness of xenophobic violence and that even his family in the UK would call often worried about him regarding what's happening in South Africa, but says that even though people usually tell him that South Africa is a bad country, he says it would be small minded to think one country in the world is bad. He mentions that he could name a few places any continent in the world where there's violence and things aren't as great as they potentially could be, but no matter what reports are out in the news he has seen the beauty of South Africa and that's why he's still here.

Joe Crann highlights the issue of immigration and how it's a spread out issue and not a South African problem, but mentions that violence is never a way to a solution but he hopes people would stop pointing a finger at South Africa as if that's the only place in the world that's struggling with migration. Joe expressed his excitement when he watches the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and that the 2010 World Cup was indeed world class.

"I don't think there's another derby like that in the world! I think that's incredible and the World Cup in South Africa has to be rated highly. It was my first one and after that magic, I swore to never miss a World Cup again in my life and that's South Africa's fault.

Joe Crann, sports journalist from England.

For the entire chat between Sam Cowen and Joe Crann, listen below..


702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
WATCH: Everyday I wake up feeling like a king, says Kwesta

WATCH: Everyday I wake up feeling like a king, says Kwesta

Award-winning rapper Kwesta performs some tracks from his album titled DaKAR II and talks about his success this year.

The time has come to free cannabis, says activist Gareth Prince

The time has come to free cannabis, says activist Gareth Prince

Rastafarian lawyer Gareth Prince has been advocating for the emancipation of cannabis in SA for 17 years. This is his journey.

Why organisers chose Constitution Hill for the AfroPunk festival

Why organisers chose Constitution Hill for the AfroPunk festival

Our values align with the South African Constitution, says founder of Afropunk Jocelyn Cooper.

6 SA female game-changers win Techwomen program in Silicon Valley

6 SA female game-changers win Techwomen program in Silicon Valley

The Techwomen initiative founded in the US, saw the South African team win 3000 US Dollars for their proposed project.

Everything you need to know about architectural history of the AmaZulu

Everything you need to know about architectural history of the AmaZulu

My co-author needed a partner to assist him with the IsiZulu part of his research says Director of Libraries at UKZN Joyce Myeza.

[WATCH] Blogger travels to 21 African counties, describes near death experience

[WATCH] Blogger travels to 21 African counties, describes near death experience

Blogger Mukhatshelwa 'Katchie' Nzama chats to Azania about her solo mission travelling to Africa.

Popular articles
Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Ndlozi explains the significance of the the first chapter of his thesis: 'Trauma in the archives'.

German prosecutors probing Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste (for accounting fraud)

German prosecutors probing Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste (for accounting fraud)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Steinhoff International Chairperson Christo Wiese.

Happy 50th birthday, Pick n Pay (congrats on growing your bottom line by 18%)!

Happy 50th birthday, Pick n Pay (congrats on growing your bottom line by 18%)!

50 years ago the retailer started out when Raymond Ackerman bought three tiny stores from Click founder Jack Goldin.

Is it normal to have a curved penis? Dr Shingai explains

Is it normal to have a curved penis? Dr Shingai explains

Urologist Dr Shingai Mutambirwa says penile curvature is only a concern if it impedes a man's ability to have penetrative sex.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

Meet Shoprite’s Christo Wiese, ruler of retail (and 3rd richest African)

Meet Shoprite’s Christo Wiese, ruler of retail (and 3rd richest African)

Bruce Whitfield interviews the remarkable Wiese (net worth R100 billion!) about how it all began and where it’s going.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?