Why should the skills and experience that we have developed die outside that country with our generation?

Addlyne Hencil

My last article in the Sunday Express gave my fellow diaspora family food for thought.

In interactive discussions on opportunities in Zimbabwe, I concluded that we have become a nation that has become comfortable receiving bad news about our country and find it difficult to consume any element of positive development happening in Zimbabwe.

We have become so gullible to negative news and have forgotten to look for the rainbow after the rain, its time to change this narrative and look within ourselves and audit our actions, as we celebrate 41 years of Independence – Happy birthday Zimbabwe.

Recently International well-known actress Thandie Newton, announced that she will now be known by her full name: Thandiwe Newton Parker, she is the daughter of Zimbabwean mother Nyasha, a healthcare worker from the Shona tribe, reports an online tabloid.

All of a sudden it became cool to be identified as Zimbabwean and have a full African name.

According to the International Organisation for Migration in Southern Africa, last week reported that Zimbabweans working and living outside their country are willing to invest back home and boost the economy, as long as there is a good environment, with more than two million Zimbabweans are estimated to be in neighbouring South Africa and Botswana, while thousands are based in the UK, Australia, and Canada among other nations.

An opportunity that Government needs to take by opening its doors wider and preparing structures and processes to welcome returning residences holding investments and skills.

I speak from experience when I say that it is not easy to approach Government and other entities with Investment opportunities, it is challenging to get the attention of the right key decision-makers.
There seems to be an element of fear in decision making within the structures.
Living in the diaspora is not easy, this I agree, with many challenges to overcome and the expectation from extended family often referred to as “black tax”.

Most are taking care of more than three households and having to work extra long hours to cope financially.

Some are living hand to mouth and have become comfortable in the wake-up, go to work, get paid, pay bills and start all over again – month in and month out, leaving no room for self-development or investment back home.

While others see no reason to think of investment and development back home because they have no intentions of returning home.

As I went around our neighbourhood in South Downs Gweru – it is sad to see the dilapidating properties which were once a parents pride and joy, now deceased and the property inherited by children who all reside in the diaspora.

A responsibility that many in the diaspora have negated – I ask where do you expect your blessings to come from, when the inheritance worked for by your father /mother is badly neglected by tenants if at all.

Estate agents missing an opportunity to maintain and manage such properties in and around the country.

Others have never been back or set foot in over 20 years probably trying hard to forget their roots, might end up one day like Thandiwe Newton Parker finally standing up to embracing who she is and not be embarrassed to be Zimbabwean.

Last but not least a sizeable number choose to retire back home and laid to rest in Zimbabwe.

Why should the skills and experience that we have developed die outside that country with our generation?

Many in the diaspora are well educated and have held senior positions in corporates and would like the opportunity to give back the much need skills and training to the next generation.




Addlyne Hencil is with Jit-Tv & The Media Box, Mud Hut Consulting, Tinavo Holdings, and Healthcare Infusion Solutions. This column is published in partnership with The Sunday Express. Follow her on social media. Her new programme Ndinotaura Zvandinoda is loading.






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