31 Dec

Olinda – Married Off in Mozambique

In May the African Union launched a two-year campaign to end child marriage in 10 African countries, including Mozambique. To combat child marriage here and across the continent, government leaders will have to expand access to education, reproductive services and other factors that delay early pregnancy, says Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, the AU’s goodwill ambassador for ending child marriage.”

Read the story here:  http://projects.aljazeera.com/2014/child-marriage/mozambique.html

31 Dec

Signing off for the year

Signing off for the year.

Wishing you all love, joy and happiness in 2015.

You are all invited to continue visiting my fireplace, anytime and from anywhere .

Yours truly, with respect.

Nyaradzayi

29 Dec

Chioma Ndikupfeke: My Single Dress – No Choice for Special Occasions  (Snippet of My Life 15)

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda *

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda

This morning, in response to a brother on twitter, I said, “people have a choice to dress appropriately for an occasion if they can afford it”.  In my deep sub conscience, was this running narrative about reality of living midst of extreme poverty. The reality that some people do not have real options that many of people do take for granted, ie dressing for an occasion when you have a single dress option!

My mind had drifted back to that life in the village, a moment in life when I literally had one decent dress, as the total possession. We called it “Chioma Ndikupfeke”, because we would go to the river with my sisters or friends, and we would wash the dress and hang it on the nearest tree.  We would then take a hearty, healthy swim or bath in Nyadire river while waiting for our dresses to dry! The same with that very decent underwear, called parachute (bought at EnBee), it was also chiooma ndikupfeke for school. I would wash and hang it in evening to dry in order to be decent for school the following day. The school uniform became the second dress to use for special occasions, holidays and weekends, like going to the stores for soap, a trip the grounding mill, or visiting ambuya in the Chitate village.

There are many who have a single piece of garment they call a dress or a skirt fit for public occasions, for church, visiting relatives or going to town or city. Much more so, some people do not have even this decent dress we are talking about. They have to literally borrow from a neighbour for something decent if they have to go to a local health centre. It’s a treat if one has a wrapper, (commonly known as zambia) for covering the rags underneath or the nakedness. In these situations, a pant or bra is a sweet luxury.

My memory goes back to my Yellow Dress with Big Black Buttons! My dress was made of the crimplen cloth and it never lost colour nor did it easily wear out. I grew in it, and I outgrew my dress. We had to adjust the button holes and move the buttons to create room for my growing body and seedling breasts. A seemingly yellow cloth was nicely fitted on the side seams on this precious garmet, and and I nicely fitted in. Not only was I growing rounder as an adolescent girl; I was also growing taller. My yellow dress was getting shorter. It reached that stage when it was so short and it was converted to a long blouse, before it found its way into the pillow, as a treasured rag. Yes, later cleaning the dirty pillow, I was happy to have a reunion with my old yellow dress. Amidst the poverty; the single garment, getting shorter and transformed as I became rounder and taller; I was treated with dignity and respect by boys and men in Magaya village. I was advised about “dressing for occasions”, without being stoned, ridiculed or abused.

Same with the boys, they wore these little shorts with all their behinds out; greeting the dust first every-time they took as sit. The families would ask the young boy to sit well. They were reassured that either at New Year or with the sale of mother’s groundnuts, they would get a new pair of new clothes. Of course some such promises case through. In many instances, people simply managed with hand-me downs. Of course,  Christmas was special when an older sister, aunt or uncle generously thought about you, and hand you their used and almost tired piece of garment. For the one receiving it was always bliss ~  an addition to a wardrobe, if there is any. Often the  “new” garment would acquire its own decent place on that wire/string hanging behind the door, which served as the wardrobe!

The question of dress, decency, society’s sensibilities, mob justice and crime is a very topical debate in Africa at this moment. Only today, the Zimbabwe Magistrate’s Court remanded Marvelous Kandemiri pending investigation in a case involving stripping a girl at a public bus terminus in Harare. A young man, Tindo is roundly applauded by the nation for his act of courage in protecting victim of “dress code violent crime”.

As we struggle for justice, for choice, quality and dignified customer service in the transport sector, we should understand the reality and inter-connected of issues at hand with feminisation of poverty. The government must double up its effort to address the dehumanising nature of poverty. This is a time-bomb for the nation. The boys and girls who grew up with patched backside, who scrounged for basic education and migrated to the cities are in dire need of decent jobs and livelihoods. Recognition of the inter-sectionality of class, age and gender is critical to fighting crime and tackling poverty.

My three bond cents thoughts, on a Monday.

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is a human rights lawyer and founder of Rozaria Memorial Trust. She is the African Union Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage, and is current General Secretary of the World YWCA. She writes in her personal capacity. Contact: vanyaradzayi@gmail.com

28 Dec

Sando Kunewe Tindo: The Zimbabwe Citizen Award for Courage 2014

Tindo

Tindo

CITATION: For standing up to protect your sister – a stranger; who was being stripped and abused by your fellow Zimbabwean brothers, this December 2014.

He reached out. A son, miles away, telling a mother his story, that traumatic experience, that day which changed his world in an instant. Tindo was not only a witness to a violent crime, when a young girl was stripped by touts in Harare at 4th Street Rank. He is also a victim of the said crime and violence, pushed, shoved, battered and clothes torn. He did what was unimaginable, saw a stranger under attack and stood in to protect her. A stranger he had never met, a stranger he rescued from sweaty armpits of rowdy abusers. He, together with other good nurtured strangers, helped the girl to board a Kombi and leave the scene of the crime. “Maam, I do not even know her name, I could not even ask, I just helped her. Mwari akandipa simba kana nanhasi its like a dream. It all happened so fast….” His voice drifted away.That single act of courage, changed this young man’s life.

All we can do is to say thank you. We need more role models like Tindo, ordinary citizens, who dare to stand up against mob justice and lawlessness in our country.

Its Sunday today, and I was reminded of the parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37: In reply to the question “Who is Your Neighbor?”, Jesus said:: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.

Many of us turn away, when confronted with violence, abuse and injustice. For Tindo, inaction was complicity. He stood for what is right, and just. He stood up

#SandoKunaTindo

#SandoKunaTindo

against mob justice. We can together continue to find ways to ensure that our cities are safe, people are treated and treat each other with respect and dignity. Indeed, Zimbabwe has to address the underlying issue that fuel such violence against women and girls, the attitudes in society towards women and unacceptable levels of unemployment especially among our youths.

I hope many Zimbabweans will at the Harare Magistrates Courts tomorrow, 29th of December 2014, when Marvelous Kandemiri and his co-accused will be in court for hearing.

Conferred in to Tindo, by me Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda in my individual capacity as a Zimbabwe Citizen, on this day, of 28th of December, 2014.

Links:

http://nehandatv.com/2014/12/18/sick-touts-undress-woman-mini-skirt/

http://www.nyaladzani.com/?p=495

* Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is a human rights lawyer and founder of Rozaria Memorial Trust. She is the African Union Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage, and is current General Secretary of the World YWCA. She writes in her personal capacity. Contact: vanyaradzayi@gmail.com

26 Dec

Youth Unemployment – The Real Time Bomb for Zimbabwe

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda

kOMBIYesterday was such a great relief, when the news hit the wires that the girl who was stripped by touts has finally emerge and made a report to the police. You could almost hear the sounds of celebration. The accused will appear in court on 29th of December, 2014, we are told. Yes, Zimbabwe stood against mob justice; and said we really need law and order in the country. If someone commits a crime, we need swift justice. Yes, this is one single case, and many cases have gone unreported.

The nation must face the underbelly of this case. Underlying this whole saga, is what Zimbabwe has to face today and not tomorrow. Youth unemployment. This is a real time bomb. What we are seeing today is thousands of touts , mostly young men at the bus terminus and ranks picking the crumbs off a tottering economy, with the transport sector itself under immense strain.

The  young men come to the ranks/bus terminus looking for food, just an opportunity to load one Kombi and have a bite for the day. They come to look for this very insecure job as a conductor, “maybe if I work hard I am noticed by influential rank marshall, so by driver of so and so company and possibly I will get a recommendation.”. They come looking for skills, even driving skill. Many are given the car and learn how to drive, with simply instructions “mupfanha muvhisa mota iyende apo“. Before we know it they have driver’s license and they are drivers. Some even buy off these licenses and are a risk to passengers, but anyway that’s another story about rampant and dangerous corruption in society.

I used to be a Kombi driver and saw with my own eyes the issue of poverty, unemployment and its impact on this sector. The violence are witnessing, the increased crime and abuse of women has a class dimension. It is the poor youth, with no access to education, jobs post education; limited livelihoods opportunities et cetera who end up hanging around as maWhindi. Its the poor who can not afford a car, who can not book the luxury coach for their journeys, who have to take a kombi as a daily commute. Its costly to be poor. Crime has a class dimension.

What we have witnessed in Zimbabwe in this case of a girls being stripped by touts is an urgent Zim-Asset issue. Implement that blue print; revive the economy, provide jobs;  create opportunities and choices for our young people and restore law and order. Still, poverty is no justification for one to break the law; to disrespect others or to violate women’s bodies.

Just my three bond cents of thought on this day!

 * Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is a human rights lawyer and founder of Rozaria Memorial Trust. She is the African Union Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage, and is current General Secretary of the World YWCA. She writes in her personal capacity. Contact: vanyaradzayi@gmail.com

 

Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
%d bloggers like this: