In the spirit of oneness and love, Nigeria paid a huge price towards the eradication of apartheid in South Africa. Students in Nigeria had to skip meals in other to make a continued meaningful contribution to South Africa. With all the donations gotten, the Southern African Relief Fund (SARF) was able to record a total sum of $10.5M within 6 months, in June 1997.
Donation to SARF
A donation to the SARF which was generally known by Nigerians as “Mandela Tax” was collected during that period. Additionally, while the donation was on-going, there was a vast massacre of up to 700 students in South Africa by the white police.
These actions in 1976, caused a total shut-down of schools. As the former engaged in a solidarity protest as against the changing of education language to Afrikaans. These brouhaha lead to large influx of about 90 South African students in Nigeria and to Nigerian schools.
The SARF played a key role in providing free education of over hundreds of South African students who circumstances force to come to Nigeria for study. Aside from the huge part played in these regards, Nigeria also played a tremendous part in not only warmly receiving South African Students and exiles.
Establishment of NACAP
Nigeria was recorded to have lost a whopping sum of about $45 billion when they refused to sell oil to South Africa, showing disagreement in the minority (white) rule.
Furthermore, with a clear mandate to cause to cease the injurious apartheid regime in all level of Nigeria’s educational system through billboards texts, in market places et cetera. Nigeria was the sole country to establish a National Committee Against Apartheid (NACAP) in 1960.
With Nigeria strongly in the helm of affairs, NACAP in 1963 was able to grow alliances with local and international organizations with the same goal of abolishing apartheid activities.
Donation to UNETP for South Africans
During the unease era in South Africa, Nigeria accommodated the former South African president from 1999 to 2008 before he left for the ANC headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia.
From 1973 to 1978, Nigeria played a big brother role again, this time, raised a lot of money and donated to the United Nations Educational and Training Program for South Africans. This was a charitable trust fund geared towards assisting and encouraging the black South African elite. With the west obviously supporting the apartheid administration with both materials, shared intelligent and others.
Financial Support to End Apartheid
Up until the 1960’s, when African countries started getting their independent and Nigeria as the leader in the anti-apartheid revolution. The fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa started yielding a meaningful result.
From 1960 to 1995, Nigeria has undoubtedly spent over $60 billion in supporting the end of apartheid, as stated by the South Africa Institute for International Affairs. Nigeria has never for once relent in an opportunity to kick against Apartheid. It still baffles me why Nigeria’s president was not given the privilege to speak during the burial of the Iconic Nelson Mandela but guess the international guest that spoke at the event? Your guess is as good as mine.
Finally, a saying goes that “no man is an island”. And I think it’s vital to note that a continent divided against itself can never stand. South Africa and its citizens should not be in a rush to forget the relentless efforts made by Nigeria in making it what it is now. And the same message goes to all Africans, let us denounce all form of segregation and hatred amongst ourselves. Let us preach love, and unite together as one saying no to xenophobic attacks on fellow Africans. Say No to Xenophobia!