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Sibahle Nkumbi, the filmmaker and writer who was the victim of an assault by her Airbnb host.

South African Artist Assaulted by Airbnb Host

South African filmmaker and writer Sibahle Nkumbi was injured after her Airbnb host violently pushed her down a flight of stairs in an attack that was allegedly race-motivated, Sabelo Mkhabela of OkayAfrica reports. The host was arrested and charged with attempted manslaughter.

Nkumbi and her friend, photographer Zanele Muholi, were staying at an Airbnb apartment in Amsterdam while Muholi prepared for her debut solo museum exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, which opened on July 8.

The woman who owns the apartment was angered when the two artists were late to check out of the Airbnb. According to Nkumbi, the woman told them that they needed to pack and leave immediately. She left after the filmmaker asked her if they could have a few minutes to gather their things. She then returned with her husband, who began to bang on the door to their room. According to Nkumbi, the husband began to refer to them as “you people,” saying, “You need to leave now; this is not Africa.”

As the women were trying to exit the building, the man pushed Nkumbi down a flight of at least a dozen stairs. According to a video Muholi posted on Instagram, Nkumbi collapsed and was taken to the hospital where she was treated for bruises and internal injuries. Muholi wrote: “This is racism and can’t be justified,” noting the “violence on black bodies.”

In an interview following the altercation, Nkumbi, who suffered a concussion, asked, “What is the justice system going to do? It is my wish that justice is served somehow.” She added, “When will we wake up? People are people.”

Commenting on the incident, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told the South African entertainment website, “Appalling and unconscionable behavior against members of our community runs counter to everything Airbnb stands for.”

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