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JOSEPHINE GANDE - HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

Can you imagine waking up everyday knowing that although life is uncertain – YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FUTURE IS UNCERTAIN. You have the additional burden of wondering what life will present to you on a daily basis as your life is in reality not yours but a statistic of the state.

Although you may have talents in abundance, (typical of most Zimbabweans anyway), you are just a statistic to the Home Office – just another number waiting to be dealt with. You are nothing! Your first step on a daily basis is dealing with waking up in the morning waiting for the mail to be delivered, firstly in optimism and then swiftly the negative veil of uncertainty creeps in and takes over!

You worry not about the bills that come through the letterbox, as you have no name – remember  – you are just a number hence no responsibility,  but when you look at them, briefly, just briefly you dream of being acknowledged and accepted as someone who can earn and owe money.

This daily cycle can drive you to thoughts that even God would not be proud of – why was I born, what is my purpose in life, why am I alive,  should I take or end my own life? Honestly this is another form of torture that you will be running away from but this time it will not be physical torture but one that is classified as “MENTAL” torture.

When you fled the threat to your life to where you expected to find homage, you find the same demons that forced you away from your beloved country, the only difference being that you are now locked in a mental prison where the bars are made of steel and your only cutting tool is made of rubber, sometimes you tend to wonder what is keeping you alive all this time.

Being proud of where you are from no longer counts, all that you did when you were there is like you – a statistic, waiting to be verified by individuals who have never been in the same position as you.

They were not there when you were  beaten up and they were not there when your friends and family were tortured, raped, disappeared, intimidated or even killed? They were not there when you were told that you were next in line either. Such things cannot be documented. Only real life experiences can be used to testament such events.

How that man or woman with the pen and paper is so ignorant to MY REALITY…… hence it’s someone elses work.

My reality is that I fled the place that I call home, the home that I would LOVE  to go back to, rather than stay in a country that I get treated like a second class citizen, where cats and dogs are treated far much better than me,  anyway, my question is “DO I REALLY HAVE A CHOICE?” , I guess the answer to that question is a big NO.

I abandoned my family to be safe from inhuman degradation. I was prepared to become a recluse for my safety. It may seem selfish but it is human nature – to preserve one’s self, as Malcolm X said – BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. If only I had known that the cold weather would reflect the people who write the law books.

Now, how can you prove that you not a dependant of this weird system. Have you ever heard people talking about asylum seekers in the United Kingdom? The way they say it or talk about it makes me wish that tables would turn around one day so that they would see what and how exactly it feels to be an asylum seeker. No matter how well off you were or your state of mind when you arrived, the reality is – UNTIL YOU ARE ACCEPTED, YOU ARE A DEPENDANT! No matter how hard you try, you can’t do anything, from being independent to being a dependant – trust me its a very rough road to tread. 

The third and most pivotal point is your fight for your right. Unlike corporate company’s, you have no financial backing to fight your case and considering you are innocent of any crimes, your are still branded a criminal and reminded that you are liable to be detained – Honestly, for what?  I mean, why would you be criminalised for seeking refuge?  There is an old English saying: “What you see is what you get,”  This doesn’t sound right  to  me because what I read from the newspapers about asylum is not what I see or experience in real life.

Sometimes you ask yourself  if it is really worth all the hassle.  Well,  if you really want to survive, I am sure you have no choice but to act a fool. It is quite clear that the law has no morals yet you still have to abide to the rulings in place. Being honest appears to have no acceptance when it comes to immigration.

BANNER - End Destitution, Detention and Deportation

It is a long, tough road and I would love to elaborate but all I can say is be strong. Time and GOD can never be conquered! My words may be few, but my passion and compassion runs deep!

My mum told me that she learned the hard way and she said she wanted to spare the children. She told me not to give or sell my soul away because that is all I have and she added by telling me not to be tempted by the shiny apple and never to eat of a bitter fruit. I had dreams and high hopes and I thought that I would make history,  that was not the case when I grew up, I found out that life is full of surprises.

Until you are accepted wherever you are, your life and your future will never be certain. I would have gone back home a long time ago if it wasn’t for people like Mugabe and his cronies. Oh dear Lord, please help us.

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