News Brief

South African Artist Assaulted In Netherlands Airbnb Race-Motivated Incident

South African artist Sibahle Nkumbi got violently pushed down a flight of stairs by a man following an Airbnb dispute in the Netherlands.

AMSTERDAM—South African photographer and artist Zanele Muholi posted a short Instagram video of her friend, filmmaker and writer Sibahle Nkumbi, getting violently pushed down a flight of stairs by a man.


The man is husband to the owner of an Airbnb apartment that the artists were staying in while in Amsterdam. The two artists were in the city for an exhibition by Muholi.

“We knew that we were late, and we heard the bell ring,” says Nkumbi in a video interview with Netherlands-based journalist Kevin P Roberson. “The lady (owner of the Airbnb) was a little bit upset, but she managed to talk politely. She stated that this is not acceptable: ‘You guys need to pack and leave now.’ I was like, ‘Can you give us a few minutes?’ And I apologized profusely for being late.”

According to Nkumbi, the lady then came back a few minutes later accompanied by her husband. “He was banging the door,” she says of the husband. “He was already angry when he was banging on the door, screaming ‘Open, open, open up.’ We opened the door, and this guy was extremely emotional. And I tried to ask him, 'why are you being so emotional?'"

Nkumbi goes on to state that the man started referring to them as “You People,” and went on to to tell Nkumbi she wasn’t the artist and queen she thinks she is. “You need to leave now, this is not Africa,” he told her.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, was quoted by South African entertainment website KWESEfied saying, “Appalling and unconscionable behavior against members of our community runs counter to everything Airbnb stands for.”

The man who assaulted Nkumbi has been arrested and charged with attempted manslaughter.

Watch the video of the incident below and the whole interview with Sibahle Nkumbi underneath.

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