Updated: Oct 10, 2018
So, I’m going to the UK!” It just felt unreal, as I had tried twice before to acquire a visa to the UK but had no luck. Part of me wanted to stay in my mother country since I had my mum and son there as well as a job that I enjoyed dearly.
What more could I have wished for really? Another sensible part of me was telling me that I should grab this opportunity, as the UK was a land of milk and honey. “How will my dear friend feel if I suddenly say I’m not coming?” I asked myself. My friend had worked so hard to get me a visa, so how could I let her down?
One day in November some years ago, I boarded Air Zimbabwe destined for the United Kingdom. Yes, I decided to go to the milky land. Landing at Gatwick at 5:00am, I suddenly had an excitement within me, and my expectations were very high.
I remember a lovely lady who I met on the plane she was so good to me. She actually waited for me to pass through immigration. May the good Lord bless her and her family (unfortunately, I lost her number before I reached my destination).
I remember travelling on a coach and thinking, “Wow, the seats are so comfortable, and there are only ten people on the whole bus!” This didn’t happen where I had come from; there, the bus only leaves the station when it is full of both humans and livestock. After a week of absorbing my new environment, I was honestly thinking about going back home. It was cold, raining, dark and very miserable. To make matters worse, I didn’t think people in this country ate whole meals or proper food.
This was because my friend never seemed to have any food in her house. Of course, I couldn’t explore far as I did not wish to get lost. It was only after I talked to my cousins about my living conditions, in particular, my nzara (hunger), that I moved to another city and realised that food was plentiful in the UK, and there was a vast variety one could buy.
Mind you, since arriving, I did not have any of my travelling documents as my dear friend had said she would keep my papers for safety (how naive I was then). That meant I could not look for a job in the new city I had moved to.
Fortunately, I managed to get a temporary job through a lady from my church. When I got my first pay cheque, I quickly repaid my friend most of the money I owed her for covering my expenses to the UK. I hoped she would give me back my passport, which she did. She never mentioned that she had taken my passport to guarantee that I would pay her back, but I suspected that was her reason. I knew I would pay her back at some point for the air ticket since that had been our agreement.... To be continued in the book, “Tales of Living In Diaspora” chapter 2.
Nature always wears the colours of the spirit
Ralph Waldo Emerson