A man from Africa, who was interviewed by reporters in Paphos following a house fire incident in Emba, spoke of a “black mentality” as one of the reasons why sometimes locals were apprehensive about asylum seekers.
Police in Emba, Paphos district, said a fire in an apartment on Agiou Lazarou Street was quickly put out on Tuesday night, with investigators saying preliminary findings pointed to a lit candle.
Six foreign nationals from Africa were said to have been living in the apartment, where there was no electricity, while no injuries were reported.
Abdalla said sometimes people in Cyprus avoid black people not because of racism but because 'we got a black mentality, it’s so poor, so ridiculous, in a white people’s country'
A video posted by PafosPress featured a man who gave his own version of events, suggesting a female tenant was responsible for the fire.
The man, who said his name was Abdalla, said two women had a fight a few days earlier.
“So today, what happened was, one of them went to work and the other came back and she burned the house [out] of anger, because she was angry, that’s why she burned the house,” he said.
Abdalla said tenants lost important documents in the fire along with other items and clothes, adding they did not know where they were going to spend the night.
Knews could not verify the claims in the video about the incident but when the reporter asked if he had a message for people in Cyprus, Abdalla took a moment to condemn what he called “black mentality.”
Abdalla spoke about his observations and said sometimes people in Cyprus were not being racist when they avoid black people.
“We got a black mentality, it’s so poor, so ridiculous, in a white people’s country,” he said, expressing dismay that such things were taking place in the 21st century.
Abdalla said he could not understand the behavior of some black Africans, adding that as a Black man he condemned it.
“Sometimes white people are avoiding us for a good reason, cause things like this in overseas… some say 'we run from danger' and things like that, and now see what we are doing in a white-people country,” Abdalla said, adding “I can’t understand it, it’s so crazy.”