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Street People Bind Together to Survive

By Tawanda Kanhema
A BONY and stunted girl coughs incessantly as she clings to her teenage mother’s back under a ragged cloth along Samora Machel Avenue.It is the beginning of yet another day, a day in the life of a pauper child.At the other end of the street, a boy barely 14 with blackened feet and shaggy hair, high on glue and marijuana lies on his back in the scorching sun on the dirty pavement while a much younger boy holds a cigarette stub tohis mouth and a thin cloud of smoke rises lazily. Through the streets and sanitary lanes of Harare, they forage, turning toevery bin and every piece of garbage in their way, they look up to everyface they meet in search of a crumb to keep them going. The rising sun brings no good news, it only marks the beginning of yetanother distressing day of looking into indifferent strangers’ faces, begging for money and food. Through the day, they fight hard to keep hunger at bay, moving from one street corner to another. Dusk falls, and it has no particular significance. It only ushers in theonset of harsh weather in winter and the beginning of wars for sleeping shelters in secluded construction sites, storm drains, verandas of fast food outlets and nightclubs. Full story on

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