Renowned Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono, has urged young Zimbabweans to leave the country if they can.
In a tweet, he said, “My advice to young Zimbabwean people from the bottom of my heart speaking from experience is that if you can leave the country, PLEASE LEAVE NOW!” Chin’ono’s statement comes amid a backdrop of political and economic turmoil in Zimbabwe.
He added that Zimbabwe “is a mess, it will be a mess for a long time unless a miracle happens or someone fearless emerges to take on the corrupt elites and bring revolutionary change.”
Chin’ono’s statement has elicited mixed reactions from the public. Some have criticized him for encouraging young people to abandon their country instead of fighting for change. Others have praised him for his honesty and for speaking out against the government’s corruption and mismanagement.
Zimbabwe has been plagued by political and economic instability for decades. The country’s economy has been in freefall since the early 2000s, with hyperinflation and widespread poverty affecting millions of people. The government has been accused of widespread corruption and human rights abuses, including the suppression of free speech and political dissent.
Chin’ono himself has been a vocal critic of the government. In 2020, he was arrested and charged with inciting public violence after he exposed alleged government corruption involving coronavirus supplies. He was later released on bail but was arrested again in January 2021 on charges of publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the police.
Despite the challenges facing Zimbabwe, some young people remain optimistic about their future in the country. Many are working hard to build their lives and careers despite the obstacles they face.
Others are choosing to leave the country in search of better opportunities abroad.
“I left Zimbabwe at 23 in 1994 and was able to build the foundation for the life I live today in Britain from my education to my award-winning professional career,” said Chin’ono. “I secured visas for all my young family members in the past 20 years so that they could have the same head-start I got in life because I knew that they would grow old with nothing to their name if they stayed in Zimbabwe.”
Chin’ono added that “Zimbabwe is a broken nation with no opportunities for young people except for those of a criminal type or those linked to political elites.” He urged young people not to waste their youthful days doing nothing when people of their age are progressing elsewhere.
“There are many opportunities for young people across the world, to start as a carer in Britain and build themselves up,” he said. “The politicians in Zimbabwe have no viable plan for you, you either choose propaganda or you choose to build yourself.”
As Chin’ono himself noted, there are many opportunities for young people across the world. However, it is important to remember that not everyone has the means or ability to leave their home country. For those who choose to stay in Zimbabwe, it is important to continue fighting for change and working towards a better future.