Friday, October 5, 2012

What's up with some Zimbabweans LYING and claiming to be South African?

When most people hear me speak for the first time, they automatically assume that I am American. It's not until I say my name that folks start to question my ethnicity. I am usually more than happy to explain that I was born in Zimbabwe and have lived in the States for over 20 years now. Trust me the story get's old real quick, imagine having to explain your life's journey to every single stranger? But if I am to be very honest, I am extremely proud to be Zimbabwean and have never minced my words about my birthplace.

Having spent a great deal of time around Zimbabwean people here in the US, I have noticed a strange phenomenon. Some of my fellow country men/ women will straight up and down lie about being Zimbabwean. It never ceases to amaze me to hear Zimbabwean born peeps claim to be South African. Guys, this puzzles me to no end. Why come up with such a blatant lie that can be easily dissolved with very little research? Let me be clear, the people that often have these dubious backgrounds are very much in the minority, a large percentage of Zimbabweans in the diaspora are very proud of their origin. It just happens a little too often for my liking, hence my addressing it in this public forum. Every time I see, hear or read about these 'so called South Africans' it just makes my blood boil!

Listen, I am not naive to the complexities associated with being Zimbabwean. We can talk for hours at length about the horrific xenophobhia in South Africa, the incredible decline of Zimbabwe and the harsh reality of having to adjust in the diaspora. It ain't pretty. I have lived every one of those realities in my life in some form, so I get it. But what I will never understand or condone is how those jarring complexities now translate into shunning one's culture, ancestors and consequently  fellow countrymen/women?

Hear me and hear me good, if you are out there claiming to South African when you are really Zimbabwean cut it out. Its that simple. There is no dignity in erasing your own past just to fit in. For lack of a better word that issh is just wack.

So talk to me, why do some Zimbabweans lie about being South African? Is this is a big deal to you, or just a non issue?


  1. Its just a lack of confidence. Some Zimbabweans tend to think that how they feel abt Zimbabwe shows on their face hence they'd rather lie. In layman's terms, if u are from rural or let's say poor Zimbabwe or so, u wouldn't wanna share ur past too much coz it wasn't the most glamorous. But here u r in USA with a fresh new start as 'the man/woman', so how else does one spruce up one's background. One solution is claiming a more economically sound country therefore subtly implying that poverty was not in ur past. That's my take on it!!!

  2. I think its to avoid debates that I have all the time about Mugabe or the Zim economy (which is really improving). I don't know how many times I have been asked to explain something our president has said or done. I usually call them out on their own countries or presidents. I think things are changing for the better and I'm hearing more Zimbabweans now claiming their real identities.


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