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It’s not all milk and honey abroad

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Right now the majority of Zimbos wouldn’t mind one bit being anywhere but here. By God, some people daily risk losing life or limb crossing crocodile infested rivers while others pay heavily with an arm, a leg and probably other parts of the anatomy too coarse to mention – as bribes to “officials” in a bid to process passports and visas. Recently I received an email from a friend who is studying in Leeds. I thought sharing it would remove blinkers from the eyes of a few. Did me . . .

Guys thought I could share this with you. Do you know that most Zimbos in the UK don’t want to be associated with their country? They are so ashamed of this thing ya Mugabe. Imagine, I met here a girl from Kariba and she was looking British, my instincts told me that she was a Zimbo and I asked her where she came from, she looked at me straight and then hesitantly said Zimbabwe thinking that I was from Russia or something. I told her I was also from Zim and she was shocked and then started to cool down. She told me she was afraid to say that she was Zimbo coz people would associate her with poverty and all sorts of horrible things. She has been in Leeds for 2 years and she said people had been asking her whether it’s true that Zimbos stay in trees and caves? And also whether people in Zim could afford 1 meal a day or they starve? They also asked her how she came to the UK. Then, as we were chatting I was telling her that I was home a few weeks back and that yes, things are bad but not as bad as they think here. This other Zimbo woman came to where we were chatting. She was walking with this Motswana guy I know and he was happy to introduce her to other Zimbos but she looked embarrassed and was blushing. We talked about problems at home and she said I am not going back and I don’t want to hear about Zim anymore. Yesterday, the University Chaplain paid me a visit at my flat and I was with this guy from Uganda. He said Zimbabwe was a terrible place and said if people don’t do something now, ‘You are all going to starve’. I cooked sadza for him and he enjoyed it though. This is just a tip of the iceberg, Zimbos are ashamed of their country coz we don’t have an image here. That is why most don’t want to come back. It’s a shame what Mugabe is doing to everyone. I have met a lot of people from different countries and none has a positive image about Zim except a few Indians who still think about Andy Flower and the world class cricket that used to be.  Only a Motswana and a Zambian girl have expressed something positive about Zim. My friend from France, a nice girl doing an Undergrad said, “Zim is horrible but you are nice.” At least that’s a consolation. All other students form associations when they come here but there is no Zim association even if there are plenty Zimbos. I have been invited to the Hindu society, Vietnam society and the Japanese society and it’s really nice to have people who are proud of whom they are. They even celebrate their national holidays and yesterday we were at the Hindu festival.

So there you go. Really what are a people to do? Maybe like my Dad thinks Zimbos are just the Jews of Africa persecuted from all corners. I wonder how it must feel, being confronted daily with something you have no control over; constantly self-conscious and having no peace of mind. I feel sorry for those who are embarrassed to be “Zimbo”. I’m not. And I know that the people who matter do not expect me to be either, and none of this is my fault, but one man’s – well, maybe a few other people too.

One comment to “It’s not all milk and honey abroad”

  1. Comment by Keyana:

    Reading your entry was quite strange. I am an American who recently returned to the states from Zim. Since then I have met many people who are from Zimbabwe living in the States. They all share the same passion and desire to return to Zimbabwe. The only reason they have not returned is lack of economic security. I am spending the winter there myself and I do get the same comments from people here about food and living conditions there. I did not find getting food a challenge at all. im vegetarian and I can eat from trees and find veggies and fruit on just about any corner