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Zimbabwe means high temperatures, high waterfalls, high educational standards

“The first misconception that I'd like to address is about the corruption, and the fighting and the robbing. That's not all there is to Zimbabwe," Jonathan says. "Sure, that happens every once in a while, but not the violent fighting, which is what the media choose to portray. That's not fully true about our country.”

“Can I say something, too?” his older sister Rufaro asks. “Another common misconception is this generalised idea how people in Africa are uneducated, but we are among some of the most educated people in the world. We're proud of that, we're educated, we are not dull. I'm looking for a university and if I want to do my university in Zimbabwe, I have to have very high grades for university applications to be able to do something very prestigious like medicine. Everywhere else it seems you can do Foundation if you didn't get the proper grades, but it's not like that in Zimbabwe. So there's this expectation for everybody to have high grades.”

Is there something about Zimbabwe you’re particularly proud of?
“One of the things I'm really proud of is the wildlife,” Jonathan replies. “We have a lot of wild animals like cheetahs, leopards, lions, elephants, buffalos. And there is a natural wonder called the Victoria Falls, it's a really amazing place to be.”

Have you been there?
“Yes, we have.” “It's breathtaking, really. I don't know how to describe it but it's really amazing.” “It's very loud, and you can also see this mist of water vapour.” “That's why it gets its nickname, the Smoke that Thunders.”

Anything you miss?
“I absolutely miss the weather! It's not too cold, it's not too hot. We basically only have two seasons which is summer and winter. The winter's a very short period of 2-3 months, with temperatures around 18 degrees, that's something I definitely miss. Another thing is how respectful Zimbabweans are. It's drilled in from when you are a young child that you're supposed to respect everyone around you. For me, it's pretty weird to meet an adult and call them by their first name. I can't do that, it's not normal for me. I have to add something like ‘auntie’ or ‘uncle’ or something because that's the way I was brought up, I guess. Another thing is how Zimbabweans are really hard working people. Right now, it's a really difficult situation for some people. They don't go to work, they don't have any income, but they’re such hard workers, they literally make something out of nothing. In a tough spot, they can make anything work: cooking from home, start delivering meals, it's very innovative.”

“And people in Zimbabwe are super friendly: When you walk on the street and you make random eye contact with someone, they will probably greet you as you pass by. In Zimbabwe you can go outside and start having a conversation with the person next to you, it's so easy.”

It must be difficult coming to Denmark, we're very reserved.
“The community is very different from here in Denmark. There, if you make close contact with a person and you become acquaintances, and they’re in the same community or neighborhood as you, it's easier for you to become friends. It's easier to connect with people.”

The photo in front of Victoria Falls was taken in 2017, when Rufaro (left) was 15 and Jonathan (right) was 9.