The Christian Science Monitor

As migration to South Africa swells, one man helps bridge cultural divides

Activist Marc Gbaffou (c.) is among those paying respect while the South African national anthem is sung. Source: Mxolisi Ncube

Marc Gbaffou is the go-to guy for migrants in South Africa when they’re dealing with problems, especially threats of violence.

As chairman of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), a nonprofit organization he founded a decade ago to safeguard the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers, he’s keenly interested in the welfare of the millions of such individuals living and working in South Africa.

And they aren’t shy about approaching him. While Mr. Gbaffou was taking part in an interview, the interruptions were constant, as migrant after migrant sought the activist’s attention.

They wanted to do everything from obtain guidance on South Africa’s migration policy and complain about ill treatment and institutional harassment, to raise the alarm about brewing attacks and pour out concerns about various moves by government officials.

“Everyone wants a piece of him, and he

How to take action

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor3 min read
‘The Parisian’ Is A Slow-burning Treat To Be Savored
Set in Paris and the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Isabella Hammad's debut novel ‘The Parisian’ contemplates issues of longing and belonging.
The Christian Science Monitor2 min readPolitics
As 2020 Field Balloons, Democrats Struggle To Emerge From Pack
The 23 Democratic presidential candidates are seeing the downsides to a big field. Some passed on Senate bids where they might have had better shots.
The Christian Science Monitor3 min readFood & Wine
In Which I Discover That Coleslaw Is Not So Simple
How hard could the recipe be, right? Five ingredients, the most obvious of which is cabbage.