There were approximately 46 thousand Zimbabwean nationals residing in the United Kingdom in 2020, a decrease from the 71 thousand Zimbabwean nationals residing there in 2008, reported the Yorkshire Examiner.
Martin (not his real name), is a British – Zimbabwean businessman based in Yorkshire who has become tired of living in the UK and is returning to Zimbabwe with his family. He said:
My sister came to England in 1978, she has since gone back to Zimbabwe. Her children all remain here.
Born here, they are married here and have no connection to their roots. Her husband is dead so she is effectively alone.
Martin said his oldest son, who is still in University will stay behind.
He said he made the journey from Zimbabwe to Yorkshire, England in search of a better life. Said Martin:
I came here 20 years ago. My son was one year old at the time.
It was challenging. Coming here. Settling in. Working. Bringing first-generation children here. It was a serious challenge.
The children that come from Zimbabwe face difficult challenges. If they have been schooled in Zimbabwe they will have an accent.
They will be picked on. They will be bullied. And some turn out pretty badly.
After spending two decades in Britain, Martin’s own perspectives have changed throughout his stay and he now wants out. He said:
It is not just about the children brought here who struggle to fit in and get bullied. The children born here become first-generation Brits.
They have no connection to Africa beyond going on holiday for 3 months or 8 weeks but there are problems in this country (UK).
Especially when the parents get exhausted and return home.
Martin said racism in the UK is a key issue in his decision to return home. He said:
It’s all hidden but it is there. The moment they see your surname they treat you different.
People just want workers but they will never accept you as one of their own. It is not a life!
Martin is returning to Zimbabwe with his younger children whom he wants to enrol in schools in his homeland.
He said he wants his children to learn about our African values of Ubuntu and treating people right. Added Martin:
When you come to England you believe there are opportunities here. But it is not milk and honey and your perspectives change over time.
You realise you are setting up your children for modern slavery. They will work for someone else but only make by.
And then they lose connections with Africa, and ideals that make us human and all just gets lost.