Factors Underlying Return Migration Decisions among Nigerian Victims of 2019 Xenophobic Violence in South Africa

In: African Diaspora
Oludayo Tade University of Ibadan Criminology and Victimology Unit, Department of Sociology Nigeria Ibadan
University of Ibadan Diaspora and Transnational Studies Unit, Institute of African Studies Nigeria Ibadan

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Studies on xenophobic violence have mainly focused on their causes and effects, but have yet to probe how victimisation experiences of xenophobia trigger migration intentions and actual practices. In a balance of tales, I examine how families contributed to staying put/return decisions by Nigerian migrants in South Africa following the September 2019 xenophobic violence. The study asks: to what extent do family facilitate and/or contribute to the decision to return? And how do return strategies unveil the centrality of family in taking migration decisions? Data emerged through online interviews with Nigerian immigrants in South Africa who stayed put, and six family members in Nigeria were reached through snowball sampling. This was supplemented with secondary interviews conducted with Nigerian returnees in three National newspapers (The Punch, Vanguard, Nigerian Tribune and The Nation newspapers). Findings show the centrality of family in both migration intentions, staying-put, and the actual practices of Nigerian victims of xenophobia in South Africa.

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