The British Library

Chioniso’s Story

I was born in Zimbabwe, but moved to the USA when a toddler then to the UK. We lived in inner London in the 80s and when I reached secondary school the family moved back to Zimbabwe for a better quality of life. My parents were professionals and we had a pool and tennis court at home. We were chauffeur driven.

When I finished school I decided to do my degree in England. I did not realise that I would not return. The economic collapse in Zimbabwe meant I could not earn a living at home. I have experienced racism in the UK and now clean toilets for a living even though I have a Masters degree. It’s better than no job, like most of the people in Zim.

-Chioniso, Watford

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