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Nigerian group in SA seeks to change narrative that they are lawbreakers

Nigerian Community Western Cape acting-president Cosmos Echie said the afrophobia was affecting the entire continent, as Nigeria and South Africa contributed nearly a third of Africa’s GDP.

Air Peace flight attendants hold placards to denounce xenophobia as the first group of Nigerians repatriated from South Africa following xenophobic violence arrives in Lagos, on 11 September 2019. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - While Nigeria celebrates 59 years of independence today, those living in South Africa said that it was time to change the narrative.

Following recent xenophobic attacks, Nigerian Community Western Cape aims to bridge the gap ahead of the South Africa/Nigeria bi-national commission conference.

The conference will take place in Pretoria on Thursday and is geared towards strengthening bilateral relations.

The group said it was pained by the recent attacks which caused hundreds of foreign nationals to flee the country.

The friction between locals and foreign nationals left 12 people dead, 10 who were South African citizens.

Shops in parts of Gauteng were also looted and vandalised during the violence.

NCWC acting-president Cosmos Echie said the afrophobia was affecting the entire continent, as these two countries contributed nearly a third of Africa’s GDP.

Echie said one of the main problems Nigerians faced was that they are deemed as lawbreakers - a narrative that needed to change.

"Criminals are criminals. They are not to be termed as Nigerians. The stereotype that we suffer should be put to an end," he said.