No place like home: Part 2

HARARE - This week we continue with interviews we carried with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora about what they miss from home.

Journalist Henry Makiwa (UK)

I left home over 15 years ago now. Unlike many Zimbabweans, for me the move was neither a daunting prospect nor complex at all. My childhood dream had always been to travel and see as much of the world as I possibly could. It had to be done! I am happy to have ticked off the one item of setting my foot on every continent off my bucket list. 

The experiences have been thrilling, energising and eye-opening, but also be incredibly challenging. I can’t deny I have suffered massive bouts of homesickness every now and again. When I miss Zimbabwe — especially my home village of Daitia, kwa Murinye — it’s usually triggered by a smell, a taste, even a colour. We as Zimbabweans have a particular and unique trait of human warmth I haven’t seen anywhere else. I do try to connect to my roots as much as possible by coming home on holidays when I can. 

Modern technology can also limit the sense of homesickness and isolation by allowing almost constant contact with loved ones wherever they may be. For me WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook are a lifeline in terms of keeping in touch with family and friends back in Masvingo and Harare.

Singer Clare Nyakujara

I miss everything; the people, the streets, the livelihood, society, rules etc... it’s best to be home were everything is familiar. It’s only our economic situation and politics that keeps us away otherwise would love to be home. Here the system is stable so it allows you to work and create in a decent environment...without pressure.

Journalist Abel Mutsakani (South Africa)

The sense of belonging, that’s what one misses most, and you are constantly reminded that you do not belong there when even some of the most basic things and activities of life require that you first provide proof that you are in the country legally. 

Opening a credit account at a shop, enrolling your child at school, opening an ordinary bank account, all these require more than just your ID. 

And what I like here are the opportunities that come with living in a functioning economy — the good schools for the children, a working public hospitals and a job where one gets paid a living wage. 

It’s the fact that one can access the basics of life without having to pay an arm and a leg for it that is the biggest benefit of living abroad.

Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga (South Africa)

Despite all the hardships and difficulties Zimbabweans are kind, cheerful, and forever smiling. I miss most those little acts of kindness like a random greeting on the streets, things we take for granted in Zimbabwe but get to miss them terribly in the Diaspora where it seems everyone is minding their own business and has no time to smile or to say hello!

Journalist Stanely Kwenda (UK)

Personally I miss the weather. Our winters can be terrible but I am now used to it. 

Traditional food is something that we cherish whenever we get it; maguru and matumbu although increasingly there are people providing those, so it’s not that much of a miss. 

What I like most here are the opportunities that these countries give to every citizen. Everyone who wants to work can get a job and be paid fairly and on time. 

Order in everyday life and respect for women and girls is also something I like most. I am a father and not very worried about what will happen to my daughter because there are systems in place to protect her. 

If a bus or a train is meant to come at 6 am it does so on time plus the quality of governance of the country is high. 

Political, business and social leaders are accountable to the people and citizens know their rights and they use them. 

It’s one thing I wish for my people in Zimbabwe, they ought to know their worth and challenge these politicians.

Reggae singer Chamu Afreek (Germany)

I’m missing the corruption there and what I like most in Zimbabwe is the nature and the climate.

Journalist Francis Mukuzunga (Lesotho)

Being here is not by choice but we were driven by the prevailing situation during Robert Mugabe’s time. 

We were hoping for the best under the new ED regime but it looks like I might have to stay here a little bit longer. When you’re in a small country like Lesotho that is totally surrounded by South Africa, you find that everything here is from that country, a trend that promotes laziness among the local people. 

This is when I marvel at the hardworking Zimbabweans back home. What I miss back home, especially at this time of the year, are the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in abundance; fresh roasted maize, mangoes and mazhanje. Despite all the hardships people might be going through, I know places like Harare are where to be at this moment in time!

Journalist Wonai Masvingise (Canada)

I miss extended family and friends and the wonderful weather. 

Trust me in Zimbabwe it’s summer all year round the winters there are a slap on the wrist because it gets to the minus 40s here. 

What I like about Canada is that if you work hard you can excel and be whatever you want to be. 

There is also free quality healthcare and you know when you retire you will get a reasonable pension that you can live on.

Comments (1)

Ko zvavari vatapi venhau Vega ? , Ku UK kune mujeno mutema here , not there yet...maybe TV Africa pa sky. Kutaura chokwadi , ma zimbo ma light weights , havafanini nemamwe ma Africans. Zviya zve zim achievers kutandadzana...hapana kana mumwe waunowona , kusara kwevarungu. Kana ku south , muAfrica yacho , tiri ma regulars , hapana iripo....kusara kwekutandanisa Rand panekiti rikutandanise. Ma Overrated are Mugabe.

Facing the truth - 31 December 2018

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