Zimbabweans around the world are reacting with joy over the resignation of President Robert Mugabe after 37 years in power.
Saki Mafundikwa, a graphic designer and educator with an MFA from Yale, worked and taught in New York City before returning to Zimbabwe about 20 years ago. There he established a design and digital technology school called the Zimbabwe Institute of Digital Arts. But keeping the school going has been tough in the declining Zimbabwean economy. This year, Mafundikwa took a teaching job in Seattle. He says it’s difficult to explain living under a brutal dictatorship for 37 years.
“It was very difficult to explain to people who have never experienced such a thing what it feels like. So the happiness I see in Zimbabwe right now, I totally get it, I totally understand it. You know we can split hairs about who’s involved and what’s going to happen, but for now this minute belongs to the people of Zimbabwe. And I think that they deserve the joy.”
Mafundikwa says his son, who’s a journalist in Zimbabwe, tells him despite their uncertain future people at home are thrilled that Mugabe has resigned.