African Transnational Diasporas: Fractured Communities and by Dominic Pasura (auth.)

By Dominic Pasura (auth.)

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Hence, social actors’ desires to settle permanently in the hostland differentiate diasporas from migrants, despite the immigration status they might possess or the acquisition of citizenship in the hostland. African Transnational Diasporas: Theoretical Perspectives 25 Similarly, it may be asked at what point transient Zimbabwean migrants became a diaspora. At what point, within the five phases of migration, did Zimbabweans abroad become a diaspora? Is it during the first phase of migration, that is, the migration of political exiles to neighbouring countries and abroad, and the labour recruitment of Zimbabweans to work in South African gold mines?

Joshua Nkomo escaped to Botswana and then went into exile in Britain. Meanwhile, some people from the Ndebele ethnic group, uncertain of their future in the Shona-led government, also fled into exile. Buhlebenkosi, Amandlenkosi and Lethokuhle are some of the respondents in this research who left the country and settled in Britain at this time. Buhlebenkosi, together with her husband, fled from the violence in Matebeleland in 1985 and migrated to Britain to claim political asylum. Amandlenkosi left the country in 1984 because of ‘political harassment and Mugabe’s ill-treatment of his fellow Zimbabweans’.

The following chapters will elaborate these key features of diaspora. 2 Vintages and Patterns of Migration Zimbabwean migration: a historical overview Throughout Zimbabwe’s history until 1990, the country had been predominantly a destination for migrants (Mlambo, 2010; Zinyama, 1990). Conflict in Zululand among the Nguni people resulted in splinter groups fleeing to the north from the wrath of Shaka, king of the Zulu. The mfecane (the crushing) happened around 1820 and eventually reshaped the whole pattern of ethnic settlement in Southern Africa.

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