A shocking video of a Black woman falling headfirst down a narrow flight of stairs in Amsterdam is making the rounds on social media. A Dutchman had pushed an Airbnb renter, a Germany-based South African student, down a staircase in Amsterdam during an argument over check-out time on Sunday (9 July). Sibahle Nkumbi was travelling with two other women and South African artist Zanele Muholi, who shared video of the incident on social media.
In a video on Instagram, Sibahle Nkumbi is heard asking a man why he is being emotional and taking her things, and he apparently pushes her. She then falls all the way down a flight of stairs, the man curses, runs down and calls out to get an ambulance.
The Instagram post says: “She collapsed and ended up in hospital. She suffered internal injuries and bruises…This is racism and can’t be justified…violence on Black bodies as you can see in this video.’
A police spokesman told the Dutch media: “It was related to a man and woman and argument about the check-out time of an Airbnb rental. The man is now free. The police are now investigating and the man is a suspect, but the woman is fortunately out of hospital.”
On Monday, the chief executive of accommodation-sharing portal Airbnb, Brian Chesky, said he intended to contact Sibahle Nkumbi while the company’s director diversity director David King said the incident was “repulsive behaviour” and threatened a lifelong ban of the offender from the platform.
Sibahle Nkumbi, a Bonn-based student who was in Amsterdam for an arts exhibition, admitted in an interview posted on YouTube that she and her friends had been late checking out of the apartment. She said a woman came to the door to find out why they were still there.
“She stated that this was not acceptable and that ‘you guys need to pack and leave now’,” said Nkumbi.
“Then I was like ‘yes, give us a few minutes’ and I apologised profusely for us being late and that it was not acceptable.”
Nkumbi said the woman then came back with her husband. “I don’t know what she told him but he was already very angry. This guy was extremely emotional and I tried to ask him why he was being so emotional. I remember repeating that over and over.
“Then as I’m resisting against this wall he’s trying to get me to his position and eventually I lost grip and then a flew down.
“I don’t remember [falling down the stairs], I passed out and woke up in hospital. People are panicking and people are crying and I’m in pain.”
The incident has been condemned by thousands of people on Social Media as not only being racist but sexist as well.