Zims in UK make us proud

The United Kingdom is home to half a million Zimbabweans. This figure is unofficial but analysts believe it is quite accurate. They say about 7,000 people immigrated to UK in 1971, and another 16,000 entered the country between then and 1981.

The numbers increased to more than 20,000 in early 1990’s and now the population of could be as high as 600,000. They live in all the big cities of UK although it has been observed that most are in London and Leicester. The second highest population is in Leeds, Liverpool & Luton and there are many in Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Coventry, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol.

There are two key reasons for the high number of Zimbabweans in the diaspora – the political disaster and employment opportunities – particularly for teachers, doctors and paramedical staff.

Many immigrants managed to get into the country illegally but they faced a very difficult time. It was difficult for them to get work in the first place and once employed they were over-burdened with work. Many worked at least 12 hours a day and were paid peanuts. Many had to travel for hours and hours to get to and from work and most of them found themselves all alone – where they used to lay down and stare at the English ceiling. They had no friends and no relatives and could not afford the expensive phone calls to talk to their loved ones back home.

They were brutalised by the civilised world. Living was terrible in cold UK. I bet many complained to God as good flexible laws were only for Britain’s, E.U nationals or British born. Many regretted having left their homes as they found this country a surprisingly hostile place because of laws. But it was safer for them here than the land of their birth. Then they started learning things faster and learnt what to do to in order to stay here. Many applied for asylum and were approved. Many got married and started families.

There are 3 to 4 million Zimbabweans living out of their beloved, land-locked country. They are flexible and fast learners “They speak Chinese in China, French in France and in Rome they live like Romans. Zimbabwean-born people have adjusted well and are now a vital component in the UK economy.

They have good family traditions which kept them united and I hope the unity will stay among them. This united community is also very much into religion and attend religious events in large number. Their churches in the UK are flourishing, which is good sign, abd they are indulging in many charity works for their countrymen.

I am in the travel industry at Travelbeeps.com and have found that Zimbabweans are loyal friends and customers. If you deal with them with kindness and faithfulness they stay your customers and recommend their friends. They are a community of cousins and close friends, so if you annoy one of them rest will know! Make them friends and you will find the whole community is your friend.

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