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Crucified for marrying a foreigner

By admin
05 May 2015

Let me state from the onset that there was a time when I was unashamedly xenophobic. In my eyes foreigners were just invading our space and stealing our jobs and there was no space for them in our beloved South Africa. I remember in 2008 during the initial outbreak of the xenophobic attacks I was in the forefront and was in full support of the call for the foreigners to leave our country.

Deep hatred

So deep was my hatred for foreigners that there was a time when this one foreign guy was seated next to me in a train and I changed seats simply because I didn’t want to be next to him. I even cursed South African women who were dating these foreign guys. But then it never crossed my mind that I would one day fall in love with a foreign guy, let alone marry him and have his kids. Now, there was a time in my life when I was a loner who couldn’t find love. But the moment I met Raphael, all that changed and I became the happiest woman ever. I met Raphael one rainy day while I was waiting for my bus. A sleek German sedan out of nowhere and this guy pulled down the window and offered to give me a lift home.

Total stranger

At first I was sceptical because he was a man and a total stranger, but then I found myself jumping in. My heart started beating fast as I asked myself what if this guy drives me to an unknown location and turns me into a drug mule? I guess he sensed my fear because he started introducing himself and telling me how he was a God-fearing man. He came to South Africa 10 years ago and completed a degree in mechanical engineering and now works for a top company.

Love till death

From that day we kept in touch and went on various dates until I figured that I really loved this man. My friends and family were openly against this relationship. They said Nigerians were crooks. Two months later we got married and my community labelled me an undignified woman. My ex-boyfriend spread malicious rumours in my community that Raphael had infected me with HIV. My family, friends and community ostracised me and treated me like a leper. My love for another human being from another country made me an outcast in my own country. In the streets I was called all sorts of derogatory names and threatened with rape. But I stuck by my man and to this day we are still together and have been blessed with two wonderful children.

Picture: Dreamstime