WINDHOEK – Some 2 000km away from home, 27-year Cuthbert Ngoro is busy trying to rebuild his shattered life, selling almost anything to survive.
At this busy street corner in Windhoek, Namibia, Ngoro is selling cellphone recharge vouchers, and anything else that he lays his hands on for survival.
Ngoro, a qualified teacher, is among millions of Zimbabweans who have been forced to flee their country’s unprecedented economic meltdown that has seen 80 percent of the working population without jobs.
“I am better off here than I was in Zimbabwe. I can make more than N$100 a day (about Z$150 000), which is way more than what I used to get in my country as a teacher.
“When I left Zimbabwe last year, I was earning Z$120 000 a month," he says with a wide grin.
A few kilometers away, Kudzai, a gorgeous lady in her late twenties who refused to give her full name, says she was a registered nurse in Zimbabwe.
She too left home and is part of a group of Zimbabwean women selling sex behind the famous Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino in the heart of Windhoek.
“It’s a tough job,” she says with a straight face.
“But it is nothing compared to the suffering I went through in Zimbabwe. At least I can afford to send money home and look after my two children in Harare,” she told ZimOnline.
“Sometimes the police lock us up but they release us the next day and we will be back on the streets. Sometimes we have to bribe our way out of police stations,” she says.
Ngoro and Kudzai are among thousands of mostly highly educated and qualified Zimbabweans who are living in the Namibian capital engaged in petty trading or doing menial jobs for survival. ....
At least three million Zimbabweans or a quarter of the country’s 12 million people live in exile after fleeing an economic crisis described by the World Bank as the worst in the world outside a war zone.