One week after her traumatic experience, Sidbahle Nkumbi is ready to tell all.
Sidbahle is a filmmaker currently studying in Europe. She recently traveled to Amsterdam to attend her mentor’s (award winning photographer Zanele Muholi) exhibition. She, accompanied with a few friends, stayed at an Airbnb property owned by a local couple. She acknowledged that they were running 90 minutes past their scheduled check out time, attempting to clean a wine stain on a carpet. According to her, the wife arrived and was upset they were still there. The wife asked them to leave, and they attempted to comply. When they went to retrieve their things, the wife had retrieved her husband. That is where things took a violent turn for the worst.
2017.07.08: Amsterdam. One of my friends/ Inkanyiso crew members was pushed downstairs by the Airbnb owner where we stayed. He threw their belongings out … for few mins late checkout. She collapsed and ended up in hospital. She suffered internal injuries and bruises. Am so angry with this I couldn’t even sleep. This is racism and can’t be justified… violence on black bodies as you can see in this video. #racism #evidence #visualactivism #Amsterdam 😭😭😭😭😭😭😰… #lessthan24hours ago … a young black female pushed and hurt by a white male who screamed in a Dutch language. #genderbasedviolence … 📹 by #LeratoDumse @dumselerato of @dulovemedia
As captured in the video by her friend, Sidbahle was thrown down a flight of stairs by the owner. While it isn’t completely clear, it seems as if he was still trying to get her out after she had reached the bottom of the stairs. She sustained multiple injuries from the fall.
Sidbahle suffered from a concussion and was knocked unconscious. She was rushed to the hospital immediately where injuries to her back, face, wrists and arm were confirmed.
She awoke in the hospital, unsure of how she ended up there. Her friend’s video helped spark her memory and she relived the trauma. Upon her release from the hospital, she has regained full memory of that horrible day. She believes the event was racially motivated.
“You’re not the great artist that you think you are. You’re not the queen that you think you are. This is not Africa” she recalls the host crying out.
“Any person of color that reads this and has been a witness or has witnessed racist attacks, you know it. You know it when it happens to you.”
After watching the video and hearing her harrowing story, one thing is for sure. She is very fortunate to be alive. This escalated quickly and stories like this usually don’t end well. Airbnb has been fighting claims of discrimination and racism for the last two years. This certainly won’t help the company’s reputation.
According to www.enca.com, David King, Airbnb’s Director of Diversity & Belonging issued the following statement in response to this incident:
“Appalling and unconscionable behavior against members of our community runs counter to everything Airbnb stands for.
“We will take the strongest actions we can against such abhorrent conduct, including banning people for life from our platform and assisting law enforcement with their investigation and potential prosecution. Nobody should ever be treated like this and it will not be tolerated.”
It has been reported that owner in the video has been arrested. Prosecutors are considering the charge of attempted murder.
How do you feel about Sidbahle’s story? Was it, in fact, racism?