The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Demetria Unmasked

Her voice is unmistakable! StarFM listeners, are however, busy wondering why she cannot fluently pronounce local names including her own. Her name is Demetria Hamandishe. She is also at pains learning her native language.

Demetria has become a popular news reader on StarFM radio.

The question on everyone's lips; is she faking it?

Below is the story behind the British accent.

True, she was born in Zimbabwe but Demetria left for England while she was barely a year old.

That is where she has been based right until the festive holiday of 2011.

That holiday is when she decided to stay behind in Zimbabwe when the family was on one of their visits home.

The newsreader opened up to Saturday Lifestyle about her new life in her motherland.

She also shared her progress in trying to fit into a completely different society that seems to be having a tough time accepting her.

Despite all the criticism, Demetria is happy to be home.

The past year has made her eager to face life's challenges head on.

She declares that she is in Zimbabwe to stay for good.

"I have been living in the UK since I was a year old and at 11 I made my first visit to Zimbabwe.

"That was the time I had my first encounter with my native language.

"My parents would not speak to me in Shona all that time because they had been advised that it would confuse me at school."

In December 2011, she said, the family came for the festive season.

"I made an impulsive decision to stay while the rest of my siblings went back to Europe.

"I knew that if I had boarded that plane, it would be years until I set foot in Zimbabwe again and I had grown tired of it," she said.

Like many Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora, Demetria confessed she had become home sick.

Demetria might have had everything in the Diaspora - a good job as a nurse and her papers in order.

She was, however, tired of the constant racism attacks suffered by Africans in Europe.

Waking up every day, she would always be reminded that she was of a minority race and did not belong there.

Demetria said it was almost impossible for her to achieve her dream of breaking into media even though she had a degree.

Like all her countrymen, she was absorbed into the health sector.

"The health sector in the UK is dominated by Zimbabweans and after failing to get a job that I was qualified for, I had no choice but to join nursing.

"My heart was not into it and but one has to understand that it is difficult for a black person to make a name for themselves out there.

"It's just like shouting at a market place, your chances of succeeding are slim," she said.

While the decision to stay was a dream come true the worst was still to come.

Demetria had to look for employment.

She had to look for a job.

Luckily, Demetria had not renounced her Zimbabwean citizenship.

She could have easily done so but since she is a patriot, British citizenship was not a gold card for her.

Living in a foreign land taught Demetria to work hard for whatever she wanted.

It was this mentality that gave her the strength to queue for hours while auditioning for a job at Zimpapers Talk Radio, now StarFM.

She, however, still finds it difficult to learn Shona from her colleagues.

"It does not help my situation since most people around me use a lot of English words when they speak.

"Patriotism should not be an outward thing, a person whose Shona is a 100 times better than mine cannot claim to be more Zimbabwean than me," she said.

Although not everything is rosy for her right now, Demetria is more than determined to be in control of her destiny.

Now in her early thirties, Demetria, is looking to settling down as soon as she finds her "Mr Almost Right".

"The problem with most Zimbabwean men I have met is that no matter how educated they are, they are just not honest enough about their marital status.

"I know at my age it is difficult to find single guys but I do not appreciate people who waste my time like that.

"However, I believe that if I am happy with myself as I do what I love, the right person will eventually come along."

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.