Searching for “greener pastures” : a narrative study of the livelihood experiences of Zimbabwean migrants with disabilities in South Africa

Dangarembwa, Noel (2019-12)

Thesis (MHumanRehabSt)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : There remains a dearth of studies that examine the link between disability, migration and livelihoods at both an international and local level. Using a conceptual framework that includes the intersectional model and the push-pull model, the aim of this study was to explore the livelihood experiences of Zimbabwean migrants with disabilities who live in Cape Town, South Africa. The objectives of the study were: - To identify the factors that “push” persons with disabilities out of Zimbabwe and the “pull” factors that “draw” them to South Africa; - To gather narrative descriptions from Zimbabwean migrants with disabilities in South Africa about their livelihood experiences; - To identify contextual factors that influence the livelihood experiences of Zimbabwean migrants with disabilities in South Africa; - To describe the effect of the intersection of various identity markers such as disability, nationality, poverty, gender, and migrant status, on the livelihoods of Zimbabwean migrants with disabilities in South Africa. Using narrative inquiry as a methodological approach, narrative interviews were used to collect data. The data was analysed at three levels: 1) a narrative analysis approach to produce whole life stories; 2) an analysis of narratives approach to generate themes from the storied data and 3) a deeper level of analysis which is integrated in the discussion of findings and that seeks to further comprehend the data. The findings of this study indicate that all participants were “pushed” out of their country of origin (Zimbabwe) by primarily political instability and economic hardships which made it hard for them to sustain their livelihoods. Participants were “pulled” to the host country (South Africa) by what they perceived to be “greener pastures”, in a country which seemingly “flows with milk and honey”. Once Zimbabwean migrants with disabilities arrived in South Africa, they assumed layers of identities that shaped the way through which they experienced the oppression that characterised their livelihoods in a terrain in which they are generally regarded as “good for nothing people” who migrate to South Africa to squander the resources of the host nation. However, participants did not passively receive oppression, but they claimed their agency and actively engaged in numerous shifts and adaptations in South Africa in ways that enabled them to establish and sustain their livelihoods. Among other identity markers, disability, migrant status and poverty intersect to frame the livelihood experiences of Zimbabwean migrants with disabilities in South Africa. Conclusion: the use of a narrative methodology was appropriate for illuminating the livelihood experiences of Zimbabwean migrants with disabilities in South Africa, because it allowed the co-construction of knowledge through dialogue and interaction with participants. There is need for the governments of both the country of origin (Zimbabwe) and the host country (South Africa) to pay attention to the livelihood experiences of persons with disabilities, so as to address their needs and concerns through policy and practice, thereby enhancing their well-being. It is my hope that this study will prompt further studies, in order to broaden the migration and disability knowledge particularly in Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Daar is internasionaal sowel as op plaaslike vlak ‘n gebrek aan studies wat die verband tussen gestremdheid, migrasie en lewensbestaan ondersoek. Hierdie studie se konseptuele raamwerk het die interseksionele model en die stoot-en-trek model ingesluit. Die doel van die studie was om die lewensbestaan ervarings van Zimbabwiese migrante met gestremdhede woonagtig in Kaapstad, Suid Afrika te ondersoek. Die studie se doelwitte was: - Om faktore wat persone met gestremdhede uit Zimbabwe “verstoot” het sowel as faktore wat hulle na Suid-Afrika “getrek” het te identifiseer; - Om verhalende beskrywings van persone met gestremdhede afkomstig van Zimbabwe se lewensbestaan ondervindings te versamel; - Om kontekstuele faktore te identifiseer wat die lewensbestaan van persone met gestremdhede afkomstig van Zimbabwe be-invloed; - Om die effek van die vermenging van verskillende identiteitsvormers soos gestremdheid, nasionaliteit, armoede, geslag and migrasie status op lewensbestaan ondervindings van persone met gestremdhede afkomstig van Zimbabwe te beskryf. Verhalende ondersoek was as metodologiese benadering gebruik en data was ingesamel deur middel van verhalende onderhoude. Data is op drie vlakke ge-analiseer: 1) 'n Verhalende analiserings benadering om 'n geheelbeeld van lewensverhale te verkry; 2) ‘n analise van die verhale om temas uit die data the genereer; 3) Analisering op ‘n meer gevorderde vlak wat by die bespreking ingesluit is met die oogmerk om data beter te verstaan. Die bevindinge van die studie wys dat al die deelnemers uit Zimbabwe, hulle land van oorsprong, verstoot is deur politieke onstabiliteit en ekonomiese ontbering wat dit vir hulle moeilik gemaak het om ‘n bestaan te maak. Deelnemers is aangetrek na Suid Afrika, die gasheer land, deur persepsies van “groener weivelde” in ‘n land wat skynbaar “oorloop van melk en heuning”. Nadat die Zimbabwiese migrante in Suid Afrika ge-arriveer het, het hulle lae van identiteit aangeneem wat die manier waarop hulle die onderdrukking wat hulle bestaan gekarakteriseer het bepaal het. Hulle was oor die algemeen gesien as “mense wat vir niks goed was nie” en Suid Afrika se hulpbronne vermors het. Deelnemers het nie hierdie onderdrukking passief aanvaar nie. Hulle het aktief betrokke geraak by vele skuiwe en aanpassings wat hulle gehelp het om ‘n volhoubare bestaan te vestig. Gestremdheid, migrasie status, armoede en ander identiteitsbepalers het vermeng en gestalte gegee aan die bestaansondervindings van Zimbabwiese migrante met gestremdhede. Samevatting: ‘n Verhalende metodologie was toepaslik om die bestaansondervindings van Zimbabwiese migrante met gestremdhede in Suid Afrika toe te lig, want dit het gesamentlike konstruksie van kennis deur middel van dialoog en interaksie met deelnemers toegelaat. Die regerings van beide die land van oorsprong (Zimbabwe) en die gasheerland (Suid Afrika) moet aandag gee aan die bestaansondervindinge van persone met gestremdhede sodat hulle behoeftes met beleid en in praktyk aangespreek kan word, om hulle welstand the verbeter. Ek hoop dat hierdie studie verdere studies oor die onderwerp sal aanmoedig sodat kennis rondom migrasie en gestremdheid kan toeneem in Afrika.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107125
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