The festive season has come and gone and with it, brought about an influx of diasporans returning home on holiday. For some, the visit was a long time coming and for others, it was part of a frequent commute home to visit family and friends.
Many of the visitors enjoyed their visit and throughout their time in Zimbabwe, they bombarded their Facebook friends and Twitter and Instagram followers with update after update. The updates included tales and photos of everything they were doing, all the wonderful people they were coming across and just good things are, just to name a few.
Most if not all of the diasporans have departed to get back to their lives in whatever part of the world they are now in. The rhetoric about their love for their short stay at home has continued but for some, it has changed to something else. What they saw and experienced when on the ground in Zimbabwe has given them a point of view different to what they were being feed by family, friends and the media.
As far as they are now concerned, Zimbabwe is ripe and they see opportunity for them to actually consider leaving the Diaspora to return home to make a life for themselves. For these people, they saw opportunities for business that they could set up after seeing possible gaps in the market for various products and services. For others, they saw opportunities to partner with established businesses to enhance product and/or service offerings.
Is this the case or were they being blinded by the ‘hepi hepi’ spending of the silly season and the cushion of spending money that they had spent months saving up for? Could the fantastical and sometimes reckless spending by the haves and some who are really have nots have given them false impressions of things being just fine?
The reality for those that are here is that things are tough! Yes, there are the select few who have managed to find a vein of money that has afforded them a very comfortable living. But, for the majority, people have had to become hardened to the conditions and do whatever it takes to try and make ends meet.
Zimbabwe is a difficult place at the moment and not everyone has the capacity to drink away $1,000+ in a few hours. The pressing issues are trying to cover food, accommodation, transportation costs, school fees, medical expenses and so on.
Yes, many of those who have fantasies of returning would be coming back with a wealth of skill and know-how in a number of areas and what they have to offer could be applied to the Zimbabwean context. Yes, things operate a little differently to the way that they do abroad. This is not to say that what they have acquired can’t be applied, may just need to be adapted so that it works well in Zimbabwe.
Question is, should they be encouraged to return if for some of those who are considering it, their decisions are based on what might have been a false portrayal by others?
This has been an interesting discussion point with varying opinions. We could write more but we’d love to hear your opinion. Share your thoughts by commenting below or if you have a lot more to say than just a comment, you could share your thoughts in an article/post (see here for details).