Disclaimer: – I don’t proclaim to have all the answers but I enjoy the occassional debate. This blog entry (written by ZimBlackRose) made me stop and think. Below is my perspective on this extremely complex matter.
Dear Zimbabwean Sister (Single or otherwise)
I read and digested your scribe – thank you for sharing this. I came back regularly and re-read it until I felt that I had finally mapped out my intended response. I took a further step and spoke to a selected group of my own brothers who in turn shared their own experiences. What I have gathered throughout these various discussions, despite the appearance, is that this pertinent issue affects both sides of the spectrum. There are brothers amongst us who worry that they may not find you – the Zimbabwean Sister.
Below are some examples of real situations which I hope will explain that at times (not always) it is love that some Zimbabwean brothers seek and that your predicament is not intentional: –
Mike: – I spoke to my friend Mike (not his real name) who advised me that he didn’t make a conscious decision not to date a Zimbabwean girl. He like some of us left home to pursue further studies and ended up in New Zealand. He ‘just happened to live’ in a place where the majority of people there were in fact not Zimbabwean. He met a lovely Maori girl whom he dated, married her a few years later and now they have a family. He says he has no regrets and won’t be going back home ever.
Mukoma Fani: – I had previously spoken to ‘Mukoma Fani’ about this issue for some reason. He has always stated that his reasons were borne out of ‘curiosity’. He describes in great detail how his socio-economic background prohibited him from dating ‘white women’ whilst growing up in Zimbabwe. Once he left and arrived in the UK, this group became his ‘hunting ground’ (his words) and so naturally the woman he eventually married came from this select group.
Mukoma Fatso: – Growing up he always was the eccentric type and we all knew or had an inkling that Zimbabwe was not a place where he would live and raise a family. As it turned out in fact raising a family was not even on his radar. Mukoma Fatso now lives in the south of France with his partner. I caught up with him recently via online chat and we touched on this issue. I asked him whether he would ever return home. His response said it all – ‘but Sir Nige I am home’. France was now home and that was that. He went on to say that ‘his old home’ would not tolerate ‘the person he had now become’. His partner is French and so has since adopted France as his home too.
Nyasha: – This ‘young (ish) man’ is a doctor and met his now wife in medical school. They studied today throughout university and have subsequently inspired & supported each other’s careers. Before I forget, Nyasha’s wife is Ugandan. To make things more interesting, her family immigrated to the UK when she was 6 years old. Therefore the UK is home for her. He has now decided that he will stay in the UK for the long term.
Fari: – We go way back actually and our families know each other very well. Fari was always going to find what he calls the ‘best fit’. In his own words he wanted someone ‘who would understand his situation’. He was raised in a polygamous household where in this case, the 3 different women DID get along and helped raise the tribe of children. He felt that a Zimbabwean girl who also came from a similar background would work for him. He found a lovely girl and they have been happily married now for several years. Mind you, they both believe monogamy is the way to go for them.
Tsano: – Another friend, obviously not his real name was in a tight jam a few years ago. He left home around the time we all left, attended university in Australia and life was going smoothly until he dropped out. At the time, the Zim dollar crashed and the economy took a hammering. His parents were unable at this stage to send the funds to support him. He dropped out, decided to get a job for a year and married an Aussie girl ‘to sort out his papers’. Tsano and I always spoke about him finishing school, going home and marrying a Zimbabwean girl. This was not to be. He never banked on actually having children with this woman and now they have a family. Sadly though, he still longs to go back home and he has regrets about his decision to marry and the reasons. However he absolutely loves his children and secretly I think this is what keeps him going. Obviously his wife doesn’t know all this. He says he now has the elusive passport but now feels completely trapped in his situation.
The stories I have detailed above are real. The names have been changed to conceal identities and indeed where applicable families. This is just a small sample of the Zimbabwean men scattered across the globe or perhaps people I know. We all know that the economic situation in Zim has had a massive effect on our lives directly or otherwise. Sadly, because of this situation some have firmly planted their roots wherever they are and will probably return home to ‘visit’ each time applying for some sort of ‘visa’. Many have been forced into situations that were simply out of their control – the Zim economy crashed and many had to fend for themselves.
I cannot speak for brothers who disrespect Zimbabwean sisters as this blog describes with various examples. One word that does spring to mind is ‘maturity’ or lack of as in this case. Some of the behavioural traits described in ZimBlackRose’s blog entry are not synonymous to Zimbabwean brothers alone I must add. One could argue that this is how the world is these days. Unfair I know to call a woman a ‘so and so’ when society easily accepts when a man does the exact same thing. This is after all 2010! I often wish I made the rules.
Society continues to evolve and this idea of the ‘small house’ used to intrigue me until I spoke to some.I subsequently gained an understanding of ‘why’ people pursue/accept or partake in this status quo.It’s an interesting one – no answer to that one really. I guess living far from home we can and do in fact get away with ‘cohabitating’ or as you call it ‘cooking pots’. This one is a tricky one but I will say this – away from home and societal pressures we tend to get away with things like this if we can – economical partnership as you call it. I am often reminded by those close to me that it usually takes two to ‘cook pots’ despite what we may all think.
I firmly believe that there are a small percentage of Zimbabwean brothers who intentionally ignore or avoid Zimbabwean sisters for reasons I cannot understand. (I love me some Zimbabwean sisters). We have to remember that with globalisation, local organisations for example had to adapt and think ‘globally’ either by entering global markets themselves, fending off a global competitor in their own local market or a combination of both. I suspect that this applies to our situation. We (well some of us) have been taken out of local environment for whatever reason. We were exposed to ‘options’ we never had before – this Xhosa girl or this Zimbabwean sister? A time came when brothers made their decision depending on individual situations. Their decisions, as illustrated above, vary depending on their particular situation. I believe that we should not assume the worst because a Zimbabwean brother opted for that Xhosa girl. Perhaps love simply called. What was he to do – it was love…after all.
In conclusion, I cannot categorically say why some Zimbabwean brothers have acted or continue to act in the way described. I just pray for our sisters’ sake that those encounters noted in this blog entry are isolated incidents (I live in hope). By writing this, I have attempted (in my own way) not to generalise but to perhaps share my perspective in the hope that this may shed some light on a complex situation that this has become. Personally I believe ZimBlackRose’s blog entry highlights one aspect of how the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe has influenced the migration pattern of Zimbabweans.
Lots of love
Your Zimbabwean Brother