This contribution considers the current position of the Ghanaian migrant community in Botswana's capital, Gaborone, at a time of rising xenophobic sentiments and increasing ethnic tensions among the general public. The article examines anthropological understandings of such sentiments by placing them in the context of the study of nationalisms in processes of state formation in Africa and the way in which these ideologies reflect the position and recognition of minorities. In Botswana, identity politics indulge in a liberalist democratic rhetoric in which an undifferentiated citizenship is promoted by the state, concealing on the one hand inequalities between the various groups in the country, but on the other hand defending the exclusive interests of all ‘Batswana’ against foreign influence through the enactment of what has become known as a ‘localisation policy'. Like many other nationalities, Ghanaian expatriate labour has increasingly become the object of localisation policies. However in their case xenophobic sentiments have taken on unexpected dimensions. By focusing on the general public's fascination with Ghanaian fashion and styles of beautification, the numerous hair salons and clothing boutiques Ghanaians operate, in addition to the newly emerging Ghanaian-led Pentecostal churches in the city, the ambiguous but ubiquitous play of repulsion and attraction can be demonstrated in the way in which localisation is perceived and experienced by the migrant as well as by the dominant groups in society. The article concludes by placing entrepreneurialism at the nexus of where this play of attraction and repulsion creates a common ground of understanding between Ghanaians and their host society, despite the government's hardening localisation policies.