75 year-old gogo wakes up at dawn to go job hunting

06 Feb, 2022 - 00:02 0 Views
75 year-old gogo wakes up at dawn to go job hunting Photo Credit: VectorStock

The Sunday News

Sione Amidu, Sunday News Reporter
GOGO Selina Banda (75) from what is popularly known as Churu Farm in Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province wakes up at the crack of dawn everyday to search for menial jobs, despite her advanced age.

Gogo Banda, who said she was abandoned by her husband in 1969, lives alone in a one-room rented house at the farm, and earns a living by working on nearby fields and selling chickens which she keeps at home.

The farm is located about 15km from Gwanda Town, along the Gwanda-Blanket Mine Road. Gogo Banda lives in the dilapidated dwellings which were meant for farm workers, together with 15 other families who also rent rooms. Some of the houses are made of dagga and can be aptly described as shacks (imikhukhu).

“I was married to Isaac Mutarimanja Mlauzi and we had two children while we were staying in Magwegwe in Bulawayo.

He worked at Kezi PTC (Post and Telecommunications Corporation). In 1969 he deceived me by taking my son to Malawi, leaving me with a daughter who was still breast-feeding, but later died. After my daughter died I was left by myself.

My wish is to see my son. Ever since he went to Malawi he never came back. I wish to see him before I die,” she said, with tears down her cheeks.

Gogo Banda said she started staying at the farm, which is owned by a local woman, in the 1990s. She said she had relatives at Vumbachikwe Mine area in the same district, but they were not in touch.

“I have been a resident of this farm from way back before the Land Reform Programme and I have been living alone. I once worked as a house helper for seven years and then started doing piece jobs which I’m still surviving on.

I can wash clothes, look for firewood, clean houses, and many more. Life has not been easy for me as I am now old.

Any help will be appreciated from anyone. Where I’m staying I’m compelled to pay R300 per month, but there is no electricity or running water, “said Gogo Banda. Mrs Pauline Zulu, another resident at the farm, said living conditions at the farm were difficult.

“I came to Churu Farm in 2006 and we were paying $10 as rent for the one roomed house and now the rent has gone up to R300, which most of the people living here cannot afford since they are old.

I live with my husband, four children and a granddaughter in one room, only God knows how we manage to sleep all in one room, it is because of desperate conditions.

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