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By Regis Nhumba

The introduction of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines created a hype on social media and mainstream media platforms. For me, social media was my main source of information. However, the flood of information was so contradictory and caused me a lot of confusion.

COVID-19 vaccination programmes is slowly becoming mandatory in Zimbabwe as the government seeks to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Photo: https://www.health.com/

On one hand, I read information from organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) encouraging people to get vaccinated. On the other hand there were anonymous sources, unverifiable experts and activists who were questioning the effectiveness of the vaccines in treating COVID-19.

Initially the Government indicated that the vaccination programme was voluntary and no…


By Regis Nhumba

Joyce Chikomo (21) says her life will never be the same again after she had a brutal, all night sexual encounter with her ex-boyfriend. She alleges her ex-boyfriend had taken sex enhancing drugs without her knowledge and forced himself on her the whole night.

Sex enhancing drugs at tertiary institutions are reportedly on the rise amid concerns by young women that the drugs violate their sexual rights. Photo: https://qz.com/quartzy

Now Joyce feels her right to experience safe and pleasurable sex was violated. She has since terminated the relationship but is bitter about her last sexual encounter.

“I was left traumatised by the encounter. I had heard a lot of my peers talking about the ‘blue diamonds’, a sex enhancing drug that seems…


By Lubalethu Ndlovu

Jacqueline Ndlovu (34) is an informal trader from Mpopoma, one of the oldest suburbs in Bulawayo. Jacqueline says when COVID-19 hit the world early in 2020, it took time for her to adjust to the new normal. But before she had settled, there was massive violence and looting of businesses that took place mainly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces from 9 to 17 July 2021.

A member of the South African Defence Force (SADF) patrols a mall vandalised by rioters. Cross border traders in Zimbabwe fear that the violence may destroy their enterprises. Photo: cbc.ca

Jacqueline says the majority of women in Bulawayo survive by cross border trading where they buy different wares from South Africa for re-sale in Zimbabwe. …


By Julie Ndlela

To say l was terrified is an understatement. The thought of an injection made me think over a lot, which became the main reason for my procrastination.

Besides the fact that l am scared of an injection, going to get a jab that has people talking negatively about, one with many unanswered questions terrified me.

Vaccination centres in Bulawayo are often crowded and this deters some people who want to get vaccinated. Photo: Julie Ndlela

When the semester opened in June, we were told that the University clinic had the vaccine. Some students quickly grabbed the opportunity to get vaccinated, but some like me still had unanswered questions. …


By Lubalethu Ndlovu

I distinctly recall the day I was vaccinated. It was on the 19th of April 2021. I had no intention of getting vaccinated because I was still riding high on the conspiracy theories.

The United Bulawayo Hospital is one of the centres where COVID-19 vaccination is done. Photo: Bulawayo24 news

My parents awoke that morning and decided to pull me along because they are elderly citizens who are more vulnerable. We left and headed to the United Bulawayo Hospital, where the majority of the vaccine recipients were from companies since a lot of people had not embraced the vaccine.

We were approached by a medical worker who explained the name of the vaccine and…


By Bekezela Mguni

Esikhoveni is a rural community in Esigodini, 45 kilometres from Bulawayo along Beitbridge -Gwanda road. Youths in Esikhoveni say going to school is now a waste of time. They argue that the few students who are graduating from high school or colleges are coming back to eke a living through gold panning or sex work. They say this is the work they are effectively doing without education.

Young people in Esigodini in Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe are now shunning going to school, opting to engage in artisanal mining and sex work. Photo: thezimbabwemail.com

Nomcebo Moyo (19) says she dropped out of school when she was in Grade six at a local primary school.

“In 2012, I dropped out of school and joined other…


By Nomzamo Gwebu

Ayanda Dube (16), (name changed) says when she got pregnant and moved in with her boyfriend, his family turned her into the family maid. She says she was denied opportunities to continue with her education and was tasked to do most of the household chores.

“My boyfriend was still going to school. Her mother was keeping him away from me because she did not want him to be affected at school. I became the maid of the house. Life was difficult for me and I cried everyday but no one took notice of my situation,” says Ayanda.


By Regis Nhumba

Ruvimbo Dube (20) from Chief Nhema in Shurugwi says her life took a wrong turn when she was forced into marriage to a 56 year old man when she was just 17 years old. She says the marriage brought all her hopes of a better life to an instant halt.

Ruvimbo says her marriage took place following an unfortunate incident that befell her family. She says her father got a herd of cattle from a neighbour through a traditional practice called kuronzera where a poor family is given cattle to look after. …


By Nomzamo Gwebu

Women and girls face challenges both in formal and informal sectors of the economy in Zimbabwe. Intimidation, harassment and exploitation are rampant, and early this year, I had first-hand experience of what some women face in their areas of employment.

Early this year I got a job as a Barlady at a drinking spot in the high density suburb of Pelandaba in Bulawayo.

One of my workmates was Mdu, a 40 year old man who worked as a bar assistant. He was around 40 years old. …


By Bekezela Mguni

Verita Ncube (43) says she ran away from her husband after living in a tumultuous relationship for ten years. During the subsistence of the marriage, Verita says she was physically, sexually and psychologically abused.

Some women stay in abusive relationships to escape from poverty

Verita and her husband, Mthabisi Moyo (42) lived in Mawabeni, 50 kilometres south of Bulwayo city, along the Bulawayo — Beitbridge road. The two did not have children together although each had children from previous relationships. Verita says before her marriage to Mthabisi, she worked as a housemaid to support her children. When she got married, she thought that her partner would support…

CCCD Zimbabwe

Creative Centre for Communication and Development, Zimbabwe

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