How xenophobia affects children: “I miss my school, and my teachers, and my friends”

In the latest video in its Voices from the Camps series, non-profit organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) profiled nine-year-old DOLLY MAKWAKWA, who was born in South Africa, but whose mother, GLORIA, is Mozambican. This is her story, as told to MSF.

My name is Dolly. My age is nine years old. I am a South African. I was born in South Africa. My mother was born in Mozambique.

The neighbours were saying you must go because they will come in your house and hit you, with your children. They chased us away.

I heard a sound – they were saying “Shaya!” And then I heard guns, they were sounding, and then the police came later. And when they hurt people, they were crying. And me too, I was being scared.

In the morning, we packed our things and came here. My mother was scared.

I miss my school, and my teachers, and my friends, Khanyisile and Lusanda. I want to go home because I want to go back to school. I’m sad when I’m staying here.

Dolly’s mom, Gloria:
We came here because we got beaten at the shacks where we lived.

There should never be any more of this violence. Let us unite and live together in harmony, like we used to, where there is no quarrelling, no conflict. Let this violence stop. Let us live in harmony. Because together we are all African.

Watch the full MSF video:

– Featured image: Screenshot of the video.