Zimbabwe to America: Moyo moves from home country during childhood

Gracie Hammond, Newtonian Content Editor

Eight thousand, nine hundred and ninety-five miles. That is the distance between Newton and the life senior Linda Moyo left behind.
At the age of eight-years-old, Moyo boarded a plane with her mother and brother to restart their lives America.
“I left everybody except for my mom and my brother, which I came with. And I’ve only seen one person since then and I’ve never been back,” Moyo said.

The family first moved to Atlanta, Ga. in 2009 to reunite with her father who had been working abroad in America.

“My dad, Ron Moyo, is a pastor at Whitestone, one of the pastors there, and then my mom owns Moyo clothing downtown and then my brother Lincoln, he is currently finishing off college at Bethel College and that’s my family, that’ll all I know right now,” Moyo said.
Moyo’s family came to Newton under unique circumstances.

“When he [her father] was little he was in a war and he was living alone, and so in that war he prayed to God, ‘God if you save me today, I’m gonna serve you.’ Moyo said.

Years later when they were in Atlanta her father was called to write an obituary for a friend from the Newton area.

“The wife of the guy who died said ‘Ron do you want to go to Hesston College so you can go to school to be a pastor?’ That moment he remembered the promises he made to God and that’s how we moved to Newton,” Moyo said.

The family has lived here ever since. For Moyo, the transition from living in Zimbabwe was not always easy. She knew very little English when she moved which made it difficult to settle into life in America.

“I watched a lot of movies, that’s how I literally learned English, because I knew nothing,” Moyo said.

Aside from being unfamiliar with the language, she also encountered differences in culture.

“It was a big culture shock when I came here, and it still is like every single day sometimes. I’m like ‘what?’” Moyo said. “The way people talk to each other like how close they are and like in Zimbabwe we say ‘hi’ to everybody but then here in some parts of the United States you have to keep to yourself or something.”

Along with that, it was strange for Moyo to move to a predominantly white town.

“It was shocking, like still today when I see a black person I’m like ‘Oh my God, a black person is right there.’ It’s still surprising because when I came to Atlanta, Ga. there were a lot of black people. It was a huge culture change from Atlanta, Ga. to Newton because it’s like all white and our culture is different from Atlanta and so adapting to three different cultures in a short amount of time was hard,” Moyo said.

Keeping in touch with her roots in something very important to Moyo.

“The sad thing is that it’s taken me a long time to realize that, for a long time I was trying to have, you know, like the American culture and get away from that but like now I’m growing every single day I see how important it is to hold on to who you are because that’s where I came from, that’s my imprint.” Moyo said.

She still speaks Zulu on occasion and enjoys connecting with people from back home.

Overall, she believes that growing up in a different country and moving at a young age has positively shaped who she is.
“I have a different perspective of the world than some other people because I know the good and I know the bad and I know both factors of any situation,” Moyo said.