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.