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Zimbabweans Rejoice Over Mugabe's Resignation

Ben Curtis
A supporter waits for recently fired Zimbabwe Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the Manyame Air Force Base in Harare on Wednesday. Mnangagwa is to be sworn in as the country's new leader after Robert Mugabe announced his resignation Tuesday.

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.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.