On Being Zimbabwean and Passing as South African


By Gretchen Wilson 

There are places in the world where lying about you are might keep you alive. That’s the case for many Zimbabweans living in South Africa.

After Zimbabwe began its spectacular economic and political collapse, about a quarter of the population has fled the country.

Most headed to South Africa, where many were first accepted, then resented. Many became targets of vicious attacks. So, many Zimbabweans have learned to ‘pass’ as South Africans. As Gretchen Wilson reports from Turfontein, slip ups can cost them dearly.

 

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