Kwerekwere: what’s in the name?

Kwerekwere is a term used mostly by South Africans or in South African with reference to foreign nationals visiting/touring or residing in the country.

Briefly, Kwerekwere means foreign nationals in a foreign land/country.

Many South Africans, I have observed, claim that many of the foreign nationals (I prefer to call them) take their wives, jobs and houses.

Though this claim may be difficult to prove, there are however indications that many foreign nationals occupy the almost- or abandoned-buildings and turn(ed) them into business opportunities as tuck shops especially in rural areas, and in metropolitan cities too, e.g Pretoria and Johannesburg.

They – foreign nationals – continue to be seen as the main-brain behind criminal activities happening in the country, mostly Nigerians, and are therefore requested to be returned to their country of origin SA citizens, despite many having resided/stayed and are now citizen-by-ID for many years, if not decades.

Just this afternoon at the time of writing, I had come across a response to my blog on one of the posts I made some time ago from Kwerekwere in which I made reference to the transformation at North West University, especially its Mafikeng Campus as a former student.

I was, I must say, surprised that Kwerekwere was not ashamed and resistance as many of his peers (other foreign nationals) would be as far as the word is concerned. Instead, he took pride in the word and turned it into something positive and added a positive meaning to it and names it after his blog.

What’s in the word?

Having lived or living in a foreign land – decades, years or even months – do you regard yourself or family Kwerekwere?


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