Patricia Mudzingwa -Murwisi
Patricia was born into a family of 8, in Gutu, Zimbabwe, and has fond memories of the traditional games she used to play with her agemates back then.
"Back then, we could go to the river and swim with the boys without fear. Today, boys and girls cannot do the same and also be safe".
Patricia lives with her grandchildren, these being unwanted children who happened to pass through her house and requested a place to stay. "I tried to speak to their parents, but they were unwilling to take their children. So, I couldn't turn them away."
She blames today's fleeting courting, which she says is different from when she grew up. Without commitment, young people do not know what they are getting into when they enter a relationship, and some of the children from these relationships end up in the homes of women like her.
Unemployed and a long way from the Gutu environment she grew up in, Patricia was finding it difficult to care for her growing family. Sometimes, she had to beg her neighbors for mealie meals or vegetables to cook for her grandchildren limiting her household to a single meal a day.
Living in Epworth, one of Harare's oldest cities and home to the Balancing Rocks, Patricia began to make 3/4 hand-crushed quarry stones and would sell them to construction workers in her community. At USD$0.50 per wheelbarrow, Patricia's most significant order of 5 cubic worth of stones was worth a total of USD$30 - the average price for quarry stones per cubic is USD$40, after negotiations.
Patricia shares that a ngano is a reflection of her life's experiences. She believes that neighbors have been able to assist her during this lockdown because they are aware she has a business venture and how it has been interrupted by the current environment.
[Whispering Silence] This project was made possible with support from Africalia and the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation of Belgium.