by Sylvester the Entrepeneur
DEAR Mr President I pray and hope that this letter will find its way to you. My name is Sylvester and I am Â writing this letter from my small office and kitchen in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The reason I have decided to write this open letter to you is because of the hardships we are facing as young people Â in South Africa. Life in South Africa has been a living hell and heaven at the same time. As young Zimbabweans in South Africa sometimes we face extreme situations which makes us feel like being a Zimbabwean is a curse.
Believe me Mr President, I am proud to be a Zimbabwean and would not trade my birth right for anything. I left home in 2008 for South Africa with R50 in my pocket and stayed in Joburg streets for a month, eating dumped grapes near Park Station Taxi Rank. During my stay in the Joburg streets I got mugged twice but God played a big role in keeping me alive.
One day as I was asleep under one of the benches in the park station kitchen I got dragged by my feet by security guards as no one was allowed to sleep in the kitchens. Â I spent the Â same night Â night roaming the streets of Joburg while it was raining.
After a couple of days I met up with fellow homeless Zimbabweans, lucky enough one of the guys had a dirty blanket which he had came with from one of the rural areas in Zimbabwe.
Four grown ups had to share this blanket. My enjoyment for the blanket got short lived when another local vagrant stole this blanket from us. From the streets I managed to move in a flat where we slept like rats. I had to share a bachelor flat with other 15 to 20 fellow Zimbabweans from Harare and Bulawayo. While staying at this flat I remember exchanging kicks and punches with one guy from Bulawayo as he said he hated Shona people because of massacres which our fore fathers had committed against his old family members.
How could someone hate me for something I donâ€™t even know about? To cut the long story short, I managed to walk towards my destiny and now I have managed to set up a small business and family. Mr President to be honest with you, we are suffering.
Some say â€œzvirikufayaâ€ but the honest truth is we have become slaves to foreign nations. Here in South Africa some folks have turned from being good individuals into thieves, prostitutes, convicts and street beggars.
Some have now Â started mugging fellow Zimbabweans to put food on their tables. Many locals now hate Zimbabweans because of such criminal behaviour.
But amidst this bad situation I have also came across good, tenacious, hardworking and trustworthy individuals.
As a young man I have always believed in my country and fellow country men. They now call us â€œMakwerekwereâ€ here is South Africa. Some of the locals have learned to love us and some are still trying to accommodate us. Many of my brothers and sisters have been killed through muggings, xenophobia, HIV and various Â things.
Those without permits are always dodging the police daily and some of them Â are now cashing in Â by arresting Â those who do not have Â papers from the home affairs. Thank God for me as I managed to scoop a permit but Â most of us are now suffering from anxiety.
As I am write this letter tears of pain are flowing uncontrollably. It hurts to see an old man in his 70s being dragged by his belt because he is in South Africa illegally.
My eyes have seen the worst Mr President. I have seen people being beaten and killed just because they are foreigners. A few locals have been good to us and may God bless their souls.
On behalf of fellow young Zimbabweans, I kindly request you to intervene in our critical situations. Some of us really need to come back home and set up companies. We have acquired skills, experience and the knowledge to build up successful businesses. As the young people of Zimbabwe we love our country and we are ready to do what it takes to bring back our county to its feet through business ventures.
Mr President, as an individual I am not affiliated to any political party. Over the years I have learnt a lot of stuff from you both as a leader and as an individual. The difficulties in Zimbabwe have released my untapped potential to the fullest.
Mr President , you are the only person who can help us in this situation. As a networker I have seen and met young individuals with business ideas that can boost our GDP, young folks with unique inventions. Some have met up with premature deaths and taken away to the graveyards with great business ideas.
These are individuals who could have created blue chip companies and employ thousands. Mr President, 8 out of 10 Zimbabweans in South Africa would love to come back home but Â cannot because there Â are no opportunities .
2 out of these 8 individuals are young entrepreneurs with a great potential to make it big in business.
These entrepreneurs cannot setup businesses here as the home affairs require about 2 million rands in their accounts as part of the business permit application.
Banks cannot loan us funds as they say we are high risk clients. Life is like dust in the wind and our tomorrow can be guaranteed by your assistance.
You have helped fellow young kids with University scholarships in the past. As entrepreneurs Mr President, we see you as a father figure, a great leader though many might oppose.
You taught us that education is the key, you gave us the best education which other nations are still struggling to set up. Please help us set up our own companies in Zimbabwe by creating a platform and funding for entrepreneurs.
We would love to come back home one day to set up our own business empires. Your Excellency I look forward to hear from you. I pray and hope that you will get to read this letter sir.
Kind Regards Sylvester Entrepreneur