From 1949 to 1994, the white-dominated government of South Africa enunciated range of legislations to institutionalize apartheid, which severely repressed socio-economic status of blacks. Any resistance resulted to death, torture and detention. During this period, Nigeria was the frontline nation that championed agitation against apartheid in South Africa. This manifested in form of policies, donations, lobbies and boycotts. Sadly, however, Nigerian nationals living in South Africa are, today, suffering nearly the same fate South Africans suffered during apartheid regime. Since 1995 till date, bloodletting xenophobic attacks on Nigerians has become a reoccurring norm for South Africans-hundreds have been killed and properties worth millions of Naira looted or destroyed. Given the numerous sacrifices Nigeria made in the quest for South Africa’s emancipation from apartheid and the unique positions of the two countries in Africa, this continued uprising comes with tons of negative implications for not just the duo but the entire continent. It is against this backdrop that this paper tries to find out the relationship between xenophobic attack and socio-economic development of Africa. It shed a spotlight on the history and modus operandi of apartheid regime in South Africa and Nigeria’s contributions towards its elimination. It further gave an account of the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerian nationals living in South Africa and marshaled out its implications to socio-economic development of Africa. In effect, it made various recommendations on how the menace could be contained. It concluded that the attack if not checked might crumble the quest for African development owing to the key role being played by the two countries.