The Zimbabwean founder of a Cape Town-based non-profit organisation has been denied a visa to Nigeria where he would participate in a boot camp for entrepreneurs because of his status as a refugee, according to a South African publication, iol News.
“My visa got rejected three days ago because I have a refugee passport instead of a Zimbabwean one,” said 28-year-old Charles Nyakurwa.
Nyakurwa, the founder of Deaf Hands at Work, had been selected as one of 1000 African entrepreneurs to participate in the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), an all expenses paid skills building boot camp in Nigeria.
“I am supposed to fly to Johannesburg next week ahead of the boot camp which is from Thursday to Sunday,” he said.
The Nigerian High Commission said that they could not accept his refugee passport for a visa application because there could be no guarantee that he would be allowed to return to South Africa, stated Nyakurwa.
Deaf Hands at Work is based in Cape Town and aims to bridge the gap between the hearing and the deaf with a team of skilled carpenters, painters, domestic workers, and seamstresses.
The non-profit groups also seeks to promote South African Sign Language (SASL) and provide work experience for deaf graduates.