TRAPPED IN A GARDEN OF GREENER PASTURES: THE EXPERIENCES OF ZIMBABWEAN TEACHERS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Inocent Moyo, Melanie Nicolau, Joan Fairhurst

Abstract


 

Most immigrants from African countries choose Johannesburg as a migration destination. They all perceive it to be location with many opportunities that would enable them to make a fresh start to a life outside their home country, and Zimbabweans are no exception. In South Africa, Johannesburg has a large percentage of foreigners at any given time, hence its inner city was chosen as a suitable location to investigate the extent and manner in which the experiences of migrant Zimbabwean teachers matched their expectations. The results revealed a paradox of economic satisfaction accompanied by fear and social unhappiness in the lives of these Zimbabwean teachers in South Africa. The Zimbabwean migrant teachers have two juxta-positioned problematic situations: wanting the money, their initial reason for migrating and motivation to continue working; and feeling imprisoned, unsafe and unwanted, an incongruous reality, in South Africa. This paper examines the dynamics of these contradictions by presenting the two-pronged dilemma from both an economic and a social point of view. They want to be and not to be in South Africa at the same time – they are trapped in a contradictory existence, in a city and country to which they chose to migrate.

 


Keywords


Zimbabwean migrant teachers, economic impacts, social impacts, crime, xenophobia, the Geography of Fear.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15551/scigeo.v60i1.309

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