'I have never experienced anything like this in my whole life' says woman injured in Airbnb stairs altercation
A video has surfaced on social media showing a South African tourist being pushed down a flight of stairs by a male Airbnb owner in Amsterdam on Saturday. Zanele Muholi, a South African photographer, posted the video on her Instagram page and claimed it was a racist incident. VIDEO: LERATO DUMSE Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive
A South African visual artist said she can't remember the moment she "flew down" a flight of stairs‚ sustaining bruises and a concussion following an altercation with her Amsterdam Airbnb host.
Sibahle Nkumbi gave her version of events in a video posted on Youtube after she was discharged from hospital.
A video of the incident‚ which took place on Saturday‚ was widely shared on Instragram and Twitter by her friend Zanele Muholi‚ who characterised it as a racist attack.
On Monday Nkumbi posted a video of herself explaining how the incident unfolded.
Nkumbi was working as a writer during the Stedelijk Museum exhibition in Amsterdam‚ in which Muholi’s work is being exhibited.
Nkumbi said her experience in Amsterdam was “bittersweet”.
South African visual artist Sibahle Steve Nkumbi was thrown down a staircase while leaving an Airbnb address she was staying at in #Amsterdam, the #Netherlands. Nkumbi came to Amsterdam to work an exhibit at the Amsterdam Stedelijk, where work was being showcased of the artist collective Zanele Muholi. Nkumbi was scheduled to check out of the apartment at 11 am but was still there after 12 pm. At this time, the landlord arrived at the property, which ultimately resulted in Nkumbi being thrown down the stairs. Nkumbi stated that no one was arguing with the landlord but were trying to reason with him. She believes that he was verbally aggressive and that the attack was racially motivated. Besides Nkumbi being able to give a firsthand account of what happened, there is also a video footage of the incident. The mainstream media is reporting that the suspect has been charged and arrested for attempted murder.
“There was really nothing suspicious‚ we went to the exhibition and the next morning we had to check out‚ and then this happens…We knew that we were late‚ we heard a bell ring. Lerato (her crew member) opened the door and the lady was clearly upset and explained that this is not acceptable‚ and she asked us to pack and leave now… I apologised profusely for us being late.
“A few minutes later she came with her husband and he came angry and banged the door. He was extremely emotional and I remember asking him why he is so emotional‚” Nkumbi said.
Nkumbi said the man was verbally abusive referring to the group as “you people”.
“He even said that we are not the great artists or queens that we think we are and that we must leave now‚ this is not Africa.
“Any person of colour who has been a witness of racist attacks will make the connection of the words and will know it when it happens to you‚” she added.
Nkumbi said perpetrators of racism often use vague language to avoid legal disputes.
“His body language‚ his facial expression‚ the way that he was actually looking at us – it was not a matter of you looking at another human.
“I guarantee you‚ had this been a white person‚ it would have been differently‚” she said.
Nkumbi said the man “couldn’t resist the opportunity” to grab her when she tried to pass him.
She said she tried to hold on to the wall but lost her grip and “flew down” the stairs.
“Flying down all the way down the stairs. I don’t remember what happened‚” she said.
Nkumbi showed bruises on her arms in the video. She also said she had difficulty remembering exactly what happened.
“I’m having a challenge remembering things and staying straight cause I shake a little‚ at the back of my head I have a huge bump on my back which is still painful. I also have bruises all over my body and in my face. I start shaking every now and then. I have never experienced anything like this in my whole life‚” she said.
Lerato Dumse‚ the crew member who opened the door said that they have been advised to not speak to the media.
“We are working to release a statement as we have been advised not to say a lot before the case goes to court‚” she said.
David King‚ Airbnb's director of diversity and belonging‚ could not confirm the arrest of the man who pushed Nkumbi down the stairs.
The company said it would 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‚” he said in a statement.