I can’t keep living in Zimbabwe. This country brings fresh horrors that I can’t seem to keep up with anymore. I’m mentally exhausted. I never used to think about it as much as I do now but it’s time I made solid plans to relocate. One can only take so much and I’ve reached my breaking point.
I asked friends on social media to share their positive experiences that came from leaving Zimbabwe. I think you have to gather as much information as you can before taking the big leap of faith.
I never planned on leaving Zimbabwe. I had been self employed for a year after my contract was not renewed. Out of mere chance I bumped into a job post advertised in South Africa, I took a chance, sent my resume and to my surprise, I got the job! The move was cushioned by the company including a relocation allowance in addition to facilitating a Visa. If that company hadn’t provided all this, I didn’t see myself moving out of Zimbabwe, I would probably still be there and going through the everyday struggles. This move has expanded my view of the African continent as I’ve lived and worked in 3 countries now. One thing is certain I still miss food from home, especially the meat. – Business Development Manager, Africa. Age: 38
I’m originally from the lush green suburbs of Bulawayo. I come from a well off background where I was blessed to have parents that could take my siblings and I all over the world and afford good schools. Fast track to present day and life is the complete opposite. Zimbabwe’s situation has gone from the frying pan to the fire. I left University and struggled to get a job even though I was qualified. The moment I got a job opportunity to leave the country I held onto it tightly. I relocated to the Middle East in January 2019 and here I’m relieved and at peace because I have access to basic things. I have water that comes out of the tap each and every time I switch it on, electricity, health care, money I can withdraw from a bank or ATM and a sustainable salary. I still miss Zimbabwe a lot, I love my country but I definitely will not be settling back home anytime soon. – Personal Trainer, Qatar : 28
After graduating with an Honours Degree in History and International Relations in 2014, I was beaming with hope of finding a job soon and living the “good life”. By mid 2015 it dawned on me that it was all wishful thinking so I enrolled for Master’s and bagged my International Relations qualification in 2016. Still no jobs in sight. A very close friend sponsored a trip to leave the country for a while just to catch a break in Cape Town for 2 weeks. I decided to start 2018 on a determined note and in January I went back to Cape Town and stayed with a friend.
I somehow feel robbed by the system in Zimbabwe. Many dreams have been lost.
To my surprise jobs were also difficult to find particularly for Faculty of Arts Graduates.
I received financial aid from another friend in Australia. I managed to secure a decent place to stay and finally to my relief a job offer came through. I now get more job offers and get to pick and choose what my next job might be. I’ve also managed to secure a place for myself and furnishing it with beautiful pieces which I could have never dreamt of owning had I stayed in Zimbabwe. The move has been helpful as far as my writing career is concerned. – Copy Editor, South Africa: 29
Last weekend when I posted this Tweet I had no idea it would resonate with so many people. I’m a firm believer or speaking things into existence because most times they do materialise, so this is me letting you know that some day soon we will both look back at this post and smile knowing I worked hard for the dream to come to fruition.
Leaving your country of birth can’t be an easy move to make but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and decide what it will have to be for you. I know that not everyone who gets to leave has a happy ever after story to tell. Some people have gone and had to come back while others are out there struggling to make ends meet. I’ll write a blog post on that as well sometime soon.
Are you a Zimbabwean thinking of leaving the country? What’s stopping you from packing your bags and going to seek greener pastures?