Original Research - Special Collection: The Church in Need of Change (Agency)

Foreigners go home! Re-imagining ubuntology and the agency of faith communities in addressing the migration crisis in the City of Tshwane

Thinandavha D. Mashau
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5595 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5595 | © 2019 Thinandavha D. Mashau | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2019 | Published: 19 November 2019

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Thinandavha D. Mashau, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Foreigners go home! This is a reverberating chorus at the heart of the migration crisis everywhere in the world. This call manifests itself in the recurring xenophobic or Afrophobic attacks directed at foreign nationals in South Africa. This article reflects on the most recent xenophobic attacks directed at foreign nationals during the anti-immigration march, held on 24 February 2017, in the City of Tshwane (South Africa). This article states that calls for foreigners to go home and the xenophobic or Afrophobic violent attacks that accompanied them were a direct attack on ubuntu. It was an attack that rendered ubuntu ‘homeless’ and reflected the direct opposite of what an African community generally stands for. It was also an attack directed towards the migrant God; hence, the article proposes a re-imagination of the theology of ubuntu and the agency of faith communities as an antidote to the recurring calls for foreigners to go home.


Foreigners; Home; Xenophobia; Afrophobia; Migration; Ubuntu; Ubuntology; Agency; Faith communities


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