By A Correspondent | Leeds remains the city that’s produced key figures of the Zimbabwean community since Rhodesian days of Simba Makoni and Edson Zvobgo, down to the youngest. It was a busy day on Christmas eve- in the Zim Leeds Community.
Every year since the days of the Rhodesian war, Zimbabweans have celebrated Christmas among families, and friends.
During this time, it’s easy for loneliness to hit many, especially those forgotten by community support groups.
The ZLC spent a whole 4 hours after descending onto the LS9 area, armed with large bags of gifts and groceries. Within 30min they are on their way and they reach the first person, a male elder.
It’s a last hour in the buzz of the Christmas rush and arriving at the first home, the ZLC meets an elderly wise man who shares his views on what the community should consider for growth and purpose in the area. “In all the politics around, isn’t it, this is our society?; We won’t and shouldn’t be sidetracked by the tag Zimbabwe or UK,” he says.
He continues saying, ” we first review the problems we have in our community and see what can be done with what we have; and this includes finding resources such as land in Zimbabwe, all over,” he adds as he also receives the Christmas gifts handed him. The elderly also shares with the team challenges that he has had recently with accommodation and other basic needs.
He also complains saying one of his problems is being housed with ex prisoners after which he is told that there are people who will soon be sent to him to assist where they can.
Another elderly, in a brief comment, commends the ZLC for the community efforts, while another (a 70y old mother to many) hints out at problems facing Zimbabweans in particular immigration issues.
Towards the end, an award winning famous Wymetro employee, is visited in a hospital. In Leeds he is a legend of decades who encountered health struggles 2 years ago. The latter is presented with gifts that include a pile of clothes and a variety of necessities. He communicates with his hands and while smiling to show his joy, he is deeply distressed when the ZLC announce they are now walking off after their half hour time with him. By this time engagements have included singing with him, and doing the things he likes, while also connecting him with his son who lives in Zimbabwe.
By this time, all the visited have taken time to feed back on what they expect the ZLC to do for them and others, and the ZLC heads back to their base.
Commenting, the ZLC Chairperson Chris Goshomi repeatedly assures the specials they should expect more visits as ZLC is there to ensure they are always valued.
“We would like you to know we are always there, and I shall leave you our numbers; I am the Chairperson, and we have ladies who handle various roles…” Goshomi says.
Speaking to ZimEye shortly after the visits, Goshomi describes the ZLC mission under a new tag phrase, saying it is “to live the home life away from home.”
The crew comprised: