In Pictures/Video: Nigerians create jokes about xenophobic attacks in South Africa

In Pictures/Video: Nigerians create jokes about xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Thursday, September 5, 2019 8:57 am

Shoprite kiosk. Credit: Ali M Ali


Ademola Adegbamigbe

This post would have been waved off as a “no laughing matter” if Nigerians were killed in this week’s xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Thank God, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, G. Onyeama, confirmed that no life was lost. Thus, Nigerians could then crack jokes on social media, cracking the ice about the situation in South Africa, making light of the issue.

In other words, for comic relief, see the first photograph above. It is a kiosk with a bold inscription of Shoprite on it. It is a mockery of the multinational products retail outlets that have, in many parts of Nigeria, been under (or threat of being) attacked by angry Nigerians. In this shoprite, this is where you can buy your tom tom or goro!

Also, watch this video about the irony of Boko Haram (everyone’s bogeyman in Nigeria) threatening to kill South Africans because of the attacks. It allegedly gave the South African government an ultimatum of 24 hours to stop xenophobic attacks in the country, otherwise “terror will be unleashed on their citizens based in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and other surrounding countries.”

Boko Haram fighters

According to Nigerian Watch reports, this warning was contained in a brief YouTube video message.The Islamic group also threatened to launch an attack on South African embassies in the aforementioned countries. Many responded, saying, “Oh, Boko Baby!”, an expression akin to playing or waxing panegyrics for a baby scorpion, mamba or rattle snake…

Watch that video here:

The other humour was the way Nigerians on social media attributed imaginary dialogue to a photograph of President Muhammadu Buhari and and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. In the wake of the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, Buhari was said to have asked his lieutenant: “Hope no cow has died yet”.


Buhar and Osinbajo: Imaginary dialogue. Credit: Austin Ejeke (FB)

It was a veiled acknowledgement of an average Fulani man’s attachment to cows (the way a Niger Delta man will hold fish, ogogro or gin; Yoruba, cocoa and parties, otherwise called Owambe and an Igbo, containers at the Apapa Wharf). Buhari himself, as confirmed by his close aides, likes to laugh about funny photographs, caricatures and cartoons about him. This is just because no life was lost in South Africa and Buhari is not taking it lightly with that country.

On a serious note, however, Nigerians are happy (including critics) about the way the Buhari government has handled the matter.

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