While South Africa continues to grow out of the Apartheid era, the nation still has ways to go in terms of tolerance. Recent events surrounding xenophobic violence and protests trumped the recent Freedom Day celebrations in the global news. Unfortunately, xenophobia is an issue the country has faced for years. Contrary to what many had hoped, Apartheid’s end in 1994 actually gave rise to increased xenophobia incidents.
To counter the awful movement, citizens have protested while the government pleads for civility. Interestingly enough, a banned 2012 advertisement for Nando’s chicken recently re-emerged as a leader in the anti-xenophobia movement:
Masking new food options under a xenophobic message is a gamble, but Nando’s pulled it off well. The ad cleverly pokes fun at who are real South Africans and who technically are immigrants. Just like all over the world, the movement to embrace diversity is paramount to a country’s advancement. While very tongue-in-cheek, ads like Nando’s could serve as an eye opener to many. Clever satire has proven itself effective throughout history in changing minds.
This isn’t the first time that the TV spot garnered controversial praise in South Africa. When the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) originally received the ad in 2012 it was turned down for its “xenophobic undertone.” However, the ad quickly went viral with fans of the commercial offering support for Nando’s discussing hard facts. This of course, isn’t the first time Nando’s has made controversial ads. In recent years, they have targeted African dictators as well as extravagant religious leaders.
What do you think of Nando’s advertisement? Is it helpful in countering xenophobia in South Africa?