For Tambu and many of her family members, England is a faraway and almost magical land that symbolizes success, prestige, and affluence. It's where Babamukuru and Maiguru received their advanced degrees and where Nhamo eventually wants to go to school. Later, when Nyasha begins to struggle with eating disorders and ask difficult questions about colonialism, she suggests that England is actually a symbol of the oppressive colonial system in Rhodesia. Because of her time in England, Nyasha finds herself unable to properly conform to traditional ways of being—yet, because she's black, Nyasha can't be properly white and Western either. England then becomes her scapegoat and signifies her oppression, loss of identity, and inability to function in Rhodesia.
England Quotes in Nervous Conditions
Whereas before I had believed with childish confidence that burdens were only burdens in so far as you chose to bear them, now I began to see that the disappointing events surrounding Babamukuru's return were serious consequences of the same general laws that had almost brought my education to an abrupt, predictable end.
"Maybe that would have been best. For them at least, because now they're stuck with hybrids for children. And they don't like it. They don't like it at all. It offends them. They think we do it on purpose, so it offends them."
"I thought you went to look after Babamukuru," I said. "That's all people ever say."
Maiguru snorted. "And what do you expect? Why should a woman go all that way and put up with all those problems if not to look after her husband?"