South African Protesters Say They 'Will Never Apologize' After H&M Closes All Stores In Country Following Outrage Over Ad
Brand strategist Groovin Nchabeleng states the ad "has damaged the reputation of H&M."
While most people called for a boycott, protestors in South Africa took matters into their own hands after H&M released "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" ad early last week. Many people, including the Weeknd, cut ties with the store, saying that they would no longer shop there or be affiliated. What most people didn't consider an option was ransacking stores to get our point across.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) did.
According to NBC News, EFF protesters targeted six H&M stores in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Their demonstration included tearing down shop displays and throwing clothes around, police said.
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After the incidents, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi took to Twitter to explain that there must be consequences for anti-blackness.
The EFF's antics were met with mixed emotions about whether or not that was the right way to go about things. He followed up by letting everyone know that they would not be apologizing for their actions.
We will never apologize for “fighting against any usage of the color of our skin as a means” of our oppression, exclusion, humiliation and denigration. #EFFProtest against H&M is not only the implementation of a historic duty; it is absolutely justified!— IG: @MbuyiseniNdlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) January 13, 2018'
Whether or not you agree with the EFF's tactics, if their goal was to get H&M out of South Africa, they might've just did something. Later that day, H&M took to Twitter to let everyone know they would be temporarily closing all of their South African stores.
"None of our staff or customers have been injured," H&M said. "We continue to monitor the situation closely and will open the stores as soon as the situation is safe again."
H&M's brand strategist, Groovin Nchabeleng, spoke to HuffPost and shared that the ad "has damaged the reputation of H&M" and shared that "the whole ad was not done by an expert." He went on to highlight ways the company could bounce back and regain the trust of their customers including removing the advertisement indefinitely and reaching out to the masses to restore public confidence.
Thankfully, no one was reported to be hurt or injured in the process of these demonstrations. In addition, nothing was looted or stolen during the protest causing the EFF to wonder why everyone is upset about the outcome.
What is left out in the entire public narrative on #EFFprotest against H&M anti-black racism is that Not Even A Single Item was Stolen or Looted by EFF Ground Forces. How much more peaceful and orderly can a protest be? #Asijiki— EFF (@EFFSouthAfrica) January 14, 2018'
While it's safe to say most of us wouldn't have done things this way, we must beg the question, what is the correct way to protest? Whether you like the method or not, the EFF did accomplish their ultimate goal.
The EFF's leader, Julius Sello Malema took to Twitter to let everyone know that they did what they felt needed to be done.
We will never be told by any fool on how to fight against our oppression particularly those who have never been at the picket lines. There’s no formula on how you should fight the oppressor, expect more action against all racists, individually and collectively this year. #Siyeza— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) January 13, 2018'
"We will never be told by any fool on how to fight against our oppression particularly those who have never been at the picket lines," he wrote. "There's no formula on how you should fight the oppressor, expect more action against all racists, individually and collectively this year."