Johannesburg, after the coup

Wednesday afternoon, the taxi driver at OR Tambo talks to me about what has just happened. Obert is Zimbabwean. He came to South Africa illegally over 10 years ago because he couldn’t get a job back home. After a lot of hard work, and in a country that provides opportunity, he’s started his own business, he’s building his own house, he has a family and he sends money and groceries back to his family in Marondera. But he wants to go home. He thinks the coup – that isn’t really being called a coup – is a really good development. The Mugabe’s must go he says. That’s a first step – at least.

Liz is waitress at a doughnut shop. She arrived in Johannesburg just last Friday. Wide-eyed she asked me what had happened back home. I told her what I knew, and what I’d seen, and heard. Liz said she was pleased – some change is better than no change.

Steve has a degree. He has an illegal South African ID. Because of his illegal papers he’s decided to keep a low profile so he works as a security guard at an office complex. He says he couldn’t get a job in Zimbabwe so he did what he had to do – he left to find work and he sends what money he can back home. But he wants to go home. He said he liked what had just happened. That it gave him hope.

While having a coffee at a cafe in Rosebank Taurai tells me that most of the waiters who work there are Zimbabwean. Taurai says they’ve all been talking about the coup and that they’re really happy about it. It means change he says, and let’s see what happens but things couldn’t go on as they had been.

Source: Bev, Kubatana member

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