Zimbabweans, who fled their country for South Africa during the first economic crisis, say they are keen to go back and show that their country can recover from the current crisis. This is after the toppling of long-time former President Robert Mugabe.
Thirty-three-year old Japhet Mpofu left his country 10 years ago. He is now married and his two children are growing up in South Africa.
“There was an economic crisis and I was looking for greener pastures south of Limpopo,” says the entrepreneur.
Onias Ncube is an engineering graduate, but he too had to find odd jobs until he and Mpofu eventually started a business. “We have made more than 40 mobile kitchens,” says Ncube.
Now they want to grow their business but they are not entitled to small business funding in South Africa.
Many Zimbabweans, who left their country during the first economic crisis, are aware of the current challenges but they still want to go home anyway. “We want to open our business in Bulawayo,” says Mpofu.
According to Ncube all they need is funding.
It seems the changing of the guard is the reason they have hope.
“I saw the president saying that he is listening to the people and I believe the government will solve the problem and Zimbabwe will be the breadbasket of Africa again,” says Mpofu.
Mpofu and Ncube say they know their products are in demand back home and they can export from South Africa. But home is home.