Coping Mechanisms in Navigating Xenophobia-Afrophobia-Related Challenges Within the Transnational Space: Case of Somali Refugee Women in Gauteng, South Africa

  • Anthony Gathambĩri Waiganjo


This study explores the coping strategies that Somali women espouse in dealing with complexities in the transnational space, within the context of Gauteng, South Africa. The paper is drawn from a qualitative study where I conducted in-depth interviews of 40 female Somali participants. Under the Power Geometries (one of the components of Geographies of power theory), the study argues that Somali women are not helpless victims of Xenophobia-Afrophobia and other complexities in the transnational space. They are individuals that make use of economic partnerships, business niches, narrate stories, are resilient in their nature, navigate marriage unions whilst in the context of Xenophobia-Afrophobia among other complexities. The study applied the theories of Geographies of Power and Social Network. Xenophobia-Afrophobia is a recurrent phenomenon that challenges migrant’s lives in South Africa. Somalis are among the most affected communities. This is due to their involvement in businesses located in the poor zones of the South African townships where they compete with local businesses. The Somali women are affected by overt and covert Xenophobia-Afrophobia.


Xenophobia-Afrophobia Transnational space South Africa Somali Women Migration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Gathambĩri Waiganjo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.PietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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