With this week being marked South Africa’s Anti-Racism week (14 – 21 March) and in response to recent episodes of xenophobic remarks, demonstrations and attacks aimed at foreign nationals in South Africa, Kaizer Chiefs have felt compelled to relaunch their anti-xenophobia campaign, known as Africa4Life. The campaign is part of the Club’s attempt to help spread the message of Love & Peace between locals and immigrants living in the country.
“Our slogan as Kaizer Chiefs is Love & Peace, which naturally means we are against all forms of prejudice,” says Jessica Motaung, Kaizer Chiefs Marketing Director. “It is the credo by which the Club stands – on and off the field. The campaign Africa4Life is derived from Amakhosi4Life, which has been our mantra for many years of our existence. Respect, honesty and love are the fundamental principles on which Kaizer Chiefs was established and remain key factors to being a truly African brand.”
Kaizer Chiefs first launched the campaign nine years ago, when the problem of attacks on nationals from other African countries first started. The ugly attacks and undesirable incidents have been rearing their ugly head in recent years and the Club has been vocal in condemning these attacks. In the past fortnight sporadic attacks took place in the Tshwane area where foreign nationals were made to fear for their lives.
“It is with a great deal of sadness that we are relaunching the Africa4Life campaign,” Jessica laments. “We believed those ugly days were behind us, but as a consequence of the resurgence in aggression towards African immigrants we feel it necessary to reintroduce this initiative as an attempt to encourage amicable coexistence within South Africa. We feel it is important to take active steps to improve the situation and foster a greater sense of mutual understanding among people of different backgrounds. Myths such as foreigners take our jobs are not true. We need to continue educating each other by separating fact from fiction to prevent potentially catastrophic repercussions. That is what the Africa4Life project is all about.”
Kaizer Chiefs unites millions of people from all walks of life. Throughout its glorious history, the Club has been represented by players from various countries on the continent, including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malawi, Nigeria, DRC, Uganda, Zambia, to name but a few. Many of these players made significant contributions to the Club’s success and brought untold joy to supporters who had the good fortune to be entertained by the skills they brought to our country. The trend continues in the current squad which contains players from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Venezuela and Togo.
“As a foreigner in South Africa, it hurts when we see these attacks and feel unsafe as some of us have many family members living here. We know and understand that these attacks are carried out by a small fraction of society and some criminal elements. However, it needs to be nipped in the bud before it spreads. I have known nothing but love and support from South Africans since I arrived and this beautiful country should not be spoilt by a few bad elements who are out to tarnish its name on the continent,” says Kaizer Chiefs’ midfielder Willard Katsande.
Diversity and tolerance are vital for South Africa’s progress. Kaizer Chiefs embraces all people because the Club understands that as a country, we are fortunate to have a stable democracy and respect for human rights. The Club believes that this should resonate with all our supporters and South Africans.
“We’ve played in many African countries and the locals have always given us a warm welcome. This is how it should be because we are all African and it is the African way,” adds Katsande.
Jessica concludes, “With the Africa4Life campaign, it’s our way of demonstrating that we value the lives of all people equally. We shall always be welcoming to our African brothers and sisters and implore all South Africans to act likewise.”
Supporters are encouraged to visits the website and share their thoughts and ideas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.