Coronavirus: How Kiwis stranded in Africa feel about the border closures

New Zealanders stranded in Africa have told Newshub they feel scared, stressed and forgotten.

Flights out of the continent have been cancelled and it's left many Kiwis with nowhere to go. 

Kerri Selby lives in Durban, with her husband Cam. The pair have been trying to get back to New Zealand for weeks.

The stress is taking a toll, says Kerri.

"I don't want to get emotional because I'm just super stressed out about it," she told Newshub through tears.

"If I could get home and be safe and not be in a position where I'm scared about the future it would just mean everything."

Kerri was meant to come home for a new job. It would mean a new start, and her husband could become a citizen here but for that to happen, they have to enter by early May.

That's unlikely now all their flights have been cancelled. 

"I can't even explain to you the stress, I feel like I haven't had a good night's sleep since March 12," said Kerri.

Aucklander Greg Fenner is stuck in Capetown. He flew there for his father's funeral only to have his flight home cancelled.

South Africa has some of the toughest lockdown laws on the planet and pictures have emerged of police firing rubber-bullets forcing people to comply.

Fenner is an essential worker at Middlemore Hospital's laboratory, and he says he wants to get back.

"We would not only like to get back to our families but to our jobs as well," he said. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) says it understands the distress Kiwis are feeling but sadly the best option may be to "shelter in place".

"The situation around the world is very complex as many countries have closed their borders and restricted the ability for travellers to transit through their countries, and commercial airlines have greatly reduced their flight schedules," an MFAT spokesperson told Newshub.


"[MFAT] urges all New Zealanders overseas to follow the advice of local authorities and the World Health Organization, register on, and contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy, High Commission or Consulate if you require consular assistance."


Across the Tasman, Australia is in the process of organising a Qantas flight home for its people.

At this stage, the service from Johannesburg doesn't include room for New Zealanders.

If it did, Dylan Hughes would try to make it down from Angola to get on board. The New Zealander leads an international school in the country's capital.

"If any flights do come up I would try and make my way to Johannesburg then try and piece some flights to New Zealand."

Calls to help as our Government repatriates Kiwis from Peru and Uruguay. Those in South Africa, and across the continent are now hoping for the same.