Hard Times: Earning a Living by the Road Side

Photo: A man putting on a respiratory mask and a woman with surgical gloves sell potatoes by the road side along Kirkman road, Harare on the 15th of April 2019. Zimbabwe is currently in a 21 day lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. During the lockdown people are mandatorily required to stay at home so that the spreading of the virus is stopped. However, the government has not put in place compensating measures to cushion people from loss of income during this time. People are therefore putting themselves and others at risk of contracting the virus as they are resuming their ways of earning a living lest their families starve. As of today, close to two million people world wide contracted the virus, five hundred thousand have recovered whilst one hundred and thirty have died.

Gogo neBadza Mudhorobha

urban agriculture

Any success story to share? Here is one to share. Gogo in this photo told me she has been growing maize and other crops (mainly sweet potatoes) on this piece of land as long as she can remember. And she looks back at all these planting seasons with a smile on her face. “Chibage chandinorima chinotondisvitsa mwaka wezhizha unotevera muzukuru. Handitengi upfu”, she said smiling (translated, the harvest I get from this piece of land makes me able to feed myself and family all year round) What a story!!!! Have you got one to share?  

Kuminda Mirefu

boy riding a scotch cart

That following year, Uncle Tobias retired. He knew quite well what to do next. With the lump sum he got from  the government, he bought a plot in Odzi. Kuminda mirefu. The land was fertile and quite suitable for growing maize, mbambaira nenzungu. He also bought a few beasts and a scotch cart.   Translations Kuminda Mirefu – New Plots Mbambaira – Sweet Potatoes Nzungu – Groundnuts

Sweet Potatoes by the Road Side

Bucket of Sweet Potatoes by the Roadside

Who can forget that morning tea (made thick with cow or goat milk) prepared in the muddy & thatched round kitchen as little children growing up? Urban life has almost made me forget. But honestly, how could I? This is only until I came across this…