South African women married to foreign nationals, speak out


By Laikyn Setloboko    24-Sep-2013 14:54 UTC+02:00

A group of women married to Nigerians have formed a group to fight against what they believe is  discrimination . The women feel there is a high sense of stigma in the townships , especially against women who are married to foreigners, nevertheless they are willing to work with government to expose paper marriages.

Many have voiced their opinions that Nigerians are bad people who use women for drug trafficking as well as marrying them to acquire citizenship. Lindlwa Uche (40), chairperson of UNIWISA (The united Nigerian wives in South African), said “there are many women who are afraid to use their married surname because of the treatment they experience. We want to fight the attitude and the mentality that Nigerians are Drug dealers. Yes there are some bad ones just like in South Africa, there are bad men.”

As a result they want to work with the department of home affairs to end paper marriages, because of this huge problem. Marrying for citizenship is a crime and working hand in hand with authorities can combat this issue.

Another proud Nigerian wife Disebo Emeribe,  a nail technician, shares her side of the story regarding discrimination. Emeribes son has endured bullying at school for having a name they call “a kwerekwere name”. My son’s name is Izuchuwu which means Gods heart and he often comes home crying about the treatment he receives from other children, not to mention when I take him to the clinic, the nurses act negatively and make funny remarks,” Emeribe said.

The spokesperson of home affairs, Lunga Ngqengelele, said as a department they welcome any form of help. “We strongly encourage people who have received bad treatment from officials to immediately report them, because as a department we are governed by Batho Pele principles. Details are available on the website for everyone to use,” Ngqengelele said.


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  1. Amyie Smith says:

    I want to marry a man from Ghana but officials are making it very difficult so I feel that they are violating my rights as a South African citizen. Not all foriengers want to use women this man loves me and we want to start a family together. These laws are just to much.

  2. nosipho mavuso says:

    the thing that u saying my sister is true this department of goverment they dont treat us well.

  3. Rachel says:

    I am a South African citizen and i wll get married to my Ghanaian man,i will use his last name everywhere and nobody,i mean nobody will ever stop me i know my rights.This government better do whats right becouse i wont let them violate my rights.Never!

  4. Rachel says:

    I am a South African citizen and i wll get married to my Ghanaian man,i will use his last name everywhere and nobody,i mean nobody will ever stop me i know my rights.This government better do whats right becouse i wont let them violate my rights.Never!

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