HomeLife & StyleExpatriado: Should I be scared?

Expatriado: Should I be scared?


Since I moved to Zimbabwe, I have received daily safety instructions. My caretaker has advised me never to leave my clothes on the drying line overnight.

My colleague has told me not to walk the streets. My boss has recommended me not to use public transport.

My friend has suggested that I should avoid driving at night. And my neighbours keep insisting on closing our two gates at all hours of the day.

They all related their advices to personal dreadful experiences and further warned me against date rape, witchcraft and thieves.

They sent me local newspaper extracts and emails of caution: Sopping malls are under siege from cross-dresser crooks.

Soporific perfumes are used to rob customers in gas station and baby dolls are used to steal people’s cars on the road.

They reminded me that I am a young and innocent foreigner who should beware all the time.

The media do depict South Africa as thieves’ heaven and Zulus as violent warriors.

On the contrary, investors’ guidelines over-emphasised that Zimbabweans are good and peaceful people.

These warnings have instilled doubts in my mind.

Is Zimbabwe a dangerous country? Does everyone here want to rob me, rape me and bury my heart in the right corner of their room for prosperity?

Should I turn my house into a bunker, stay at home the whole day and watch ZBC? It seems boring.
And it is tiring to keep imagining the worst-case scenarios. I have thus decided to face my fears and explore the country.

Until now, I have never had to use panic buttons nor experienced any form of car-jacking/ house-breaking.

I still find my house keys on the front door when I forget them overnight.

I was once even lucky enough to recover my wallet after dropping it inadvertently at Mbare Musika.

Maybe I am just a blessed young and innocent foreigner well protected by my ancestors.

Or maybe we spend too much energy being scared and not enough wondering why some people need to steal.

After all my explorations, my biggest fears remain drunk drivers and hippos.

So, should I be scared?

Expatriado is an expatriate working in Zimbabwe and all views expressed in this column are personal

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