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Journal of Social Development in Africa

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Munatsi Shoko Abstract After leaving their home country, international migrants are faced with a challenge to seek a new family, friends, support networks, accommodation and employment. Married migrants may be forced to live separately from their spouses.

Munatsi Shoko

Abstract


After leaving their home country, international migrants are faced with a challenge to seek a new family, friends, support networks, accommodation and employment. Married migrants may be forced to live separately from their spouses. Migrants tend to develop new coping mechanisms. This article investigates the renegotiation of 'home' by Zimbabwean migrants in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban attending school, living in a community or in search of employment. The study employs a qualitative approach, using unstructured interviews administered to 30 migrants. Choice of research questions was guided by an online discussion held on a social media group of Zimbabwean migrants to investigate common adaptation mechanisms. The findings show that social media has evolved to become one of the biggest platforms for migrants to seek solace. Staying in a 'common migrant area' with fellow countrymen and maintaining networks with key service providers including potential employers for opportunities and job security as well as 'malaitshas' (Informal cross-border transporters or remittance couriers) that link migrants to their home country are the popular methods of adapting to their new home.

Key words: Networks, Common migrant area, Malaitsha, Coping, Xenophobia.




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