By Tatenda Mujeyi
Imagine a person whose job is to experience the economic and social conditions of third world countries by visiting them on a zero dollar budget, meet Sergey Shevchenko a Russian who works for Cable TV Russia.
We caught up with Sergey ‘Louis’ Shevchenko at a local arts centre where he told us his ordeal as an arts enthusiast as well as employed to experience 3rd world countries without a dollar.
Sergey ‘Louis’ Shevchenko says “I come from the Republic of Russia, Serbia region, just close to the deepest place in the world ‘Lake Baikal ‘ and I am employed to travel and document the socio-economic conditions in third world countries. My aim will be to make a documentary from the information I will gather,” Shevchenko said.
‘Louis’ also says he survives on doing menial jobs and at times goes hungry as he has to work and just hope the people give him something despite enjoying the excursion.
“I have to work to make some money and I helped the guys here clean up ‘showing us a corner he had cleaned up’, today I am going to Warren Park to shoot with my cameras, maybe guys will also give me ‘5 bond’, (RTGS$5). On Saturday I was a judge at this modelling event here but on Sunday I am leaving for Victoria Falls and will be in Zambia before going back to Russia on the 19th of July.” Shevchenko said.
Since arriving he has experienced the Zimbabwean ‘township’ life as he has had to put up with an Airport security guard in Mabvuku.
“I arrived on the 26th of June and was staying in Mabvuku with an Airport security guard. We had to wake up very early in the morning as we had to fetch water, and there is power challenges affecting the people,” Sergey said.
The tourist said the poverty levels experienced by other countries in Asia and Africa seems to be the same and perceptions his fellow Country men have about countries he has visited are usually not true.
“I have gone to India and Thailand and the poor people seem to experience similar positions of poverty. My friends back home usually have wrong perceptions about the countries I visit. When I went to Thailand they said I would be shot before no time. They also said Zimbabwe is not a good country,” Shevchenko added.
He insisted on having experienced a different Zimbabwe from the one he perceived and will go on to market Zimbabwe abroad.
“The first person I met in Mabvuku had a good heart. The people of Zimbabwe are loving and good but are suffering just like my fellow countrymen in Siberia,” Shevchenko also added.
Louis survives on technology for directions and insisted he would be interested in sharing this article on his Facebook Page.