Car horns blared and cheering crowds raced through the streets of the Zimbabwean capital Harare Tuesday as news spread that President Robert Mugabe had resigned after 37 years in power.
The announcement came after days of building pressure on the 93-year-old authoritarian leader, who was feared by many of his citizens through his long and often repressive rule.
"We are just so happy that things are finally going to change," Togo Ndhlalambi, 32, a hairdresser, told AFP.
"We woke up every morning waiting for this day. This country has been through tough times."
After a week of political turmoil, Zimbabweans reacted with shock and unfettered joy.
"I am so happy that Mugabe is gone, 37 years under a dictatorship is not a joke," said Tinashe Chakanetsa, 18.
"I am hoping for a new Zimbabwe ruled by the people and not by one person.
"We need leaders who are selected by the people and not rulers. I am looking forward to get a job after our economy recovers."
Massive crowds gathered within minutes of the shock announcement to parliament.
Men were breakdancing, women were singing and children were in tears, all brandishing national flags and praising General Constantino Chiwenga -- the man who led the army takeover -- as the news began to sink in.
"It's shocking, that guy is powerful, very powerful," said Barber Wright Chirombe, one of those who joined the euphoric street celebrations.