Disturbing Video of White Airbnb Host Pushing a Black Woman Down Stairs Sparks Outrage

Fredrick Ngugi July 13, 2017
Sibahle Nkumbi, a South African filmmaker who was assaulted by an Airbnb host in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Photo credit: The Independent

A disturbing video of a White Airbnb host apparently pushing a Black woman down a flight of stairs has sparked outrage on social media, with some people reading racial undertones in the violent act.

The incident happened on Saturday in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where the victim identified as Sibahle Nkumbi, a South African filmmaker studying in Europe, had gone to review a friend’s art exhibition.

In the video, the seemingly angry White male host can be heard telling the victim to get out of the apartment before pushing her down the stairs. She tumbles down the steep staircase on her stomach and ends up lying motionless.

Watch the video here:

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

A post shared by Zanele Muholi (@muholizanele) on

A lot of people have taken to social media to express their anger at the appalling act, terming it as “disgusting”:

Others say the incident is a perfect case of the kind of racial discrimination perpetrated by some Airbnb hosts:

What Happened

Recounting the ordeal in a YouTube video after she was discharged from the hospital, Nkumbi says she and her colleagues knew they were late checking out of the apartment when their host, who had been called by his wife, lost his temper and decided to eject them violently.

“We heard the bell ring. The lady was clearly upset… she said this is not acceptable. You need to pack and leave now. I apologized profusely for us being late,” she says.

“I remembered asking, ‘Why are you being so emotional? We are leaving.”

Nkumbi also alleges that the host insulted them by telling them that “this is not Africa” and that they are not the queens they think they are.

She says she decided not to respond and was leaving quietly when he grabbed her and pushed her down the stairs, adding that he had tried to do the same to her colleague but she held on to the rail and told him not to touch her.

The incident left the South African filmmaker with several bruises and a head concussion.

“I don’t remember how it happened. I woke up in hospital, in pain. And then got the video of the story,” says Nkumbi.

The Dutch host has since been arrested and is waiting to be tried for attempted murder, according to News24.

Airbnb, which has since promised to fully cooperate with the police regarding the incident, is an international online marketplace and hospitality service that enables people to lease or rent short-term lodgings, including apartment rentals, homestays, and hotel rooms.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: September 15, 2018


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