By Nomaqhawe Ndlovu
Since the early 2000s Zimbabweans have become some of the most nomadic Africans. In this new series, we will explore not only their accomplishments but their challenges and overall experiences as they navigate their lives as diasporan ‘Zimbos’. We will explore what their hope for Zimbabwe is and if they can see themselves ever coming back home.
Nat (Natasha Fuyane) and Xolie (Xolie Ncube) are the voices behind Girl In Skies podcast based in the UK. In the podcast, they introduce us to exciting books and music they think we should know about. They also discuss a myriad of issues affecting Zimbabweans abroad in a lively and relatable way.
Our reporter Nomaqhawe Ndlovu caught up with the girls to find out what motivated them to start the podcast.
Below is an excerpt of the interview.
Noma: What made you decide to start a podcast?
Girls in Skies: We’d find ourselves talking for hours about relationships, the politics in Zimbabwe and how it affected us. We then thought, “you know what, we probably aren’t the only ones thinking these things and having these conversations..” That’s how the idea for a podcast started. We felt strongly that there was a space for the Zimbabwean and Southern African diaspora voice to be part of the conversation.
Noma: In the podcast so far you have discussed a myriad of issues from immigration policies to ‘black tax’ and even long distance relationships. Why do you think these are important issues to tackle?
Girls in Skies: We feel these topics are important because they are our lived experiences. These “topics” are our reality, we live and breath them everyday. While many may face these issues we discuss alone, our podcast creates space for people to speak out and share ideas on how to deal with various topics pertinent to us. We strongly believe that there is a solution and sometimes healing in being able to discuss these issues.
Noma: You talk a lot about the ‘disadvantages’ of being foreign, especially being a Zimbo. What advantages do you think a Zimbabwean upbringing did give you?
Girls in Skies: Grounding! We have witnessed various situations that have forced us to appreciate the tenacity cultivated by enduring the various situations we’ve had to face as Zimbabweans. Regardless of the challenges, Zimbabweans have faced, we have seen the resilience, determination and strength shown by people on a daily basis. This attitude is one we carry and use it in spaces where and when we face challenges.
Noma: Having lived in the UK for years, what are the three things you would urge someone to consider before moving to a new country?
Girls in Skies: To make use of official information available through that country’s resources/websites etc. Many immigrants at times rely on second-hand information passed on by other people which may not always be accurate. To think through their plan. If moving to study, for example, research what the chances of getting employment are. Consider how moving location will impact the dynamics of one’s relationships (personal, family, business etc) because it will.
Noma: What is the one thing you want your listeners to take away from the podcast?
Girls in Skies: Just one? Haha. We’d like our listeners to feel like they’d taken a deep breath and had a laugh with their friends/sisters/cousins after listening.
Noma: Ultimately what is your hope for Zimbabwe and do you think it will ever be realised?
Girls in Skies: We’d love Zimbabwe to be a place where our children would aspire to settle in. Will it be realised? We can only be hopeful.
Listen to their latest episode below: