Xenophobia is a monster that continues to rear its ugly head and deters the African continent from reaching its full potential.
This was the opinion of Premier Stan Mathabatha who addressed Africa Day celebrations at the University of Limpopo on Monday.
“The so-called xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals of African descent are a real deterrent to Africa’s self discovery. All of us have a responsibility to find practical and long lasting solutions to this phenomenon.”
“We must move fast to arrest this problem because Africa is nestling on a ticking-time-bomb which will explode in our faces if we do not act fast and swiftly,” Mathabatha told the audience.
The celebrations commenced with a spectacular blend of colour, dance and music and a friendly soccer match between a Limpopo team of MECs, MPLs and mayors captained by Mathabatha and an Africa United team comprising of foreign nationals residing in Polokwane and surrounds.
“Soccer, like any other sporting code unites people. We used soccer to show that the foreign nationals are our own and welcome in the province,” Mathabatha said
He also mentioned he was happy to display his football skills, especially in the middle field.
The match was played in good spirit with the members of the Limpopo team rekindling former skills in great earnest. Africa United beat Limpopo 5-3 with goals scored by Ashib Sematengo, Monso Ngereni and David Atuzi. Soviet Lekga-nyane and Alie Matlala scored for Limpopo.
Uti Chisamba, a member of the African United team, thanked the provincial government for organising the match and he also mentioned that he was happy to interact with the leaders of the province.
“It was a good match that symbolised unity and we are glad that through the match we showed that we are all Africans and we can do everything together,”Chisamba said.