South Africa has a complicated history when it comes to race and ethnic relations. After suffering through apartheid, the country is attempting to bounce back from its divisive history and become a more inclusive society, but there are still challenges. Race and ethnic tensions still exists, so when a new ad by popular fast food chain Nando’s popped up poking fun at xenophobia in the country, some said it hit a little too close to home.
The ad depicts people of different ethnicities disappearing into clouds of smoke as the narrator opines, “You know what’s wrong with South Africa? All you foreigners.”
The Atlantic gives more details:
…the ad opens, picking through the many immigrant groups (many of which, after centuries here, no longer consider themselves immigrants) and telling them to get out. Even the Zulu and Venda — major South African ethnic groups — are told to “go home” (where?). At the end, only a traditionally dressed Khoisan man is left. “I’m not going anywhere, you *&$!@#* found us here!” he says, according to the captions. The narrator concludes, “Real South Africans love diversity,” going on to explain why this means people should buy their latest chicken platter.
Although Nando’s is known for their satirical and envelop-pushing advertisements, some in South Africa don’t find their latest effort amusing. The ad has been banned from both South African Broadcasters (SABC) and on the country’s biggest satellite network DStv which have both called it “offensive.”
While the ad is certainly not a traditional fast food advertisement, I find it ironic that its critics claim it stokes ethnic divisions when it’s clearly doing the opposite (making fun of those who want everyone to “go home”).
But what do you think of the Nando’s ad? Is it offensive or have some South Africans overreacted? Speak on it!