Living on the streets of Harare becomes a ‘normalcy’

By Patricia Mashiri and Joyce Mukucha

Some people can always be happy and grateful as they find joy in little things they have and learn to accept and appreciate what life give them thereby continuing to live healthy and normalising everything.

A smoke can be seen billowing into the sky in the heart of the city of Harare at the Corner of George Silundika Avenue and First Street. Next to the fire is is a smiling and friendly lady doing her cooking in the middle of the street.

Card boxes, empty bottle containers, pots and few plates piling up are seen in the street at the place she calls ‘her home.’

Lydia Ndhlovu, (39) born on 18 November 1979 is earning a living on the streets of Harare since late last year when she was chased away from Mbare by her landlord who was very tough on her.

“I decided to live on the streets when I discovered that I could no longer afford paying rentals in Mbare were I used to live. The landlord was very demanding and did not understand that life was hard for me because of the current economic challenges the country is facing.

“Before I came to Harare I used to live with my parents in Bulawayo and thereafter I realised that I’m a grown up woman who can look after herself through the work of my hands,” Ndhlovu said.

The woman said when she came to Harare she worked for at least four years in Belvedere as a housemaid until the woman she worked for went back to the United Kingdom.

Speaking to Spiked Online Media, Lydia said she witnesses the power of God all the time for she had never slept hungry, ‘God is good always’, is the statement she emphasised on.

“I have never slept hungry though I’m on the streets. I collect cascade and maheu empty bottle containers for sale in Mbare. I can earn $3-$4 per load as they sale the containers for $0, 30 per kilogramme. Through this I’m able to cater for my food bills,” Ndhlovu said.

The straining economic challenges faced by the country are to blame for the ever smiling lady. She wishes to live with her 4year old daughter Nothando and well as to visit her parents in Nkulumane Bulawayo but she cannot raise the money for bus fare.

“I miss my 4 year old Nothando child who lives in Borrowdale (Harare) with my husband’s friends. It’s been long since I saw her am sure she misses me too,” Ndhlovu said.

Everyone hopes for the best in life no matter how hard things might be. The ever smiling lady said though she resides in the streets, she needs a true life partner and said that she has a boyfriend who is pastor of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and they are planning to wed before the end of this year.