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Tendai's cry for a beloved country

PUBLISHED: 11:29 04 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:47 05 July 2010

THE past few weeks have seen Lowestoft College student Tendai Godwin take some important exams as he continues his plumbing course - but he could be forgiven for letting his mind wander to events thousands of miles away.

THE past few weeks have seen Lowestoft College student Tendai Godwin take some important exams as he continues his plumbing course - but he could be forgiven for letting his mind wander to events thousands of miles away.

Tendai is from Zimbabwe, and he is extremely concerned about the way people in his homeland are suffering as President Robert Mugabe is once again returned to power.

Initially Tendai found it difficult to settle in this country even though his mother's family are English.

But, through a Prince's Trust programme his confidence grew as he adjusted to a new way of life.

Tendai quickly became a popular student at the college, and his progress was acknowledged when he was shortlisted in The Journal Student Achiever of the Year awards.

Despite all his studying Tendai, who is living at Wenhaston, found time to speak to The Journal expressing his concerns about what was happening in Zimbabwe and his fears for the future.

“There is no doubt that the recent elections have not been free and that Mugabe has used terror tactics to frighten opponents,” he said.

“If anyone is suspected of supporting opposition parties they are badly beaten by Mugabe's henchmen.”

Tendai, who is 20 later this month, does not believe the situation will improve without help from the rest of the world.

“Mugabe is working with countries like China, who are after the minerals and other commodities found in Zimbabwe.

“It is difficult to see how things will change for the better until the rest of the world takes action,” he said. “I would like to see Britain and the United States lead the world in opposing Mugabe not just with words but by taking action.”

Unless the world, including other African countries, takes a united stand, he fears Mugabe's years in power will not be brought to an end. And the student believes that events in Zimbabwe will continue to get worse while Mugabe is its leader.

“Mugabe intentionally makes it difficult for young people to get educated in Zimbabwe as a way of ensuring that his leadership is not questioned. This is such a shame because Zimbabwe could be one of Africa's big successes,” he said.

The country, in its years as Rhodesia, had suffered from a form of apartheid in the past and its residents were eager to look to a brighter future, he said. “I feel very sad to see the people of Zimbabwe continuing to suffer. The people there are so friendly and peace-loving and do not deserve to suffer at the hands of a ruthless tyrant,” added Tendai.

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