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June 24, 2015: A woman cries during a protest by street vendors opposing the government's decision to have all street vendors removed from the CBD in Harare. Street vendors, often termed illegal vendors, have been blamed for making the city look dirty.

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September 14, 2014: “I grew up poor. I fractured my ankle one day in 2011 when a fellow vendor pushed me while we were trying to run away from City Council police. My life changed after that. I lost a lot of money trying to get my ankle back to normal but I have never recovered.” - Duduzile Ncube (40), a street vendor in Harare. She has been earning a living through vending for more than 15 years.

 

 

 

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April 25, 2015: Having been brought up in Seventh Day Adventist home Duduzile Ncube always prays before leaving her home in Hopely Zone 6 for the CBD in Harare to sell her wares. "There are a lot of challenges one encounters when selling. You can come back home without selling or there can be a council police raid. Anything can happen but I always leave it to God and thank Him for my life."

 

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December 16, 2014: Duduzile Ncube (L) is helped by a fellow vendor in Mutoko, a small town about 144 km from Harare, where she purchases mangoes to sell in Harare when they are in season.

 

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December 1, 2014: “Poverty taught me how to make sweeping brooms. When baskets were no longer profitable in the 90s in Harare, I learnt how to make sweeping brooms to survive.” Gogo Mpofu (69), a street vendor in Harare, who took her two married sons to school with the money she earned selling her wares and now she is taking her two granddaughters through high school. She has been a vendor for more than 25 years.

 

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June 2, 2015: Miriam hangs her school uniform on the washing line in preparation of school the following day. She attends Lutsha Primary School in Nkone, Nkayi where she is a prefect and writing her Grade 7 exams. Gogo Mpofu has been taking her to school with the money that she earns from selling vegetables and sweeping brooms at night on the streets of Harare since her father died in 2006.

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January 17, 2015: Gogo Mpofu makes goat meat for her grandchildren when she visits them at the beginning of the school term at the family rural home in Nkone, Nkayi in Matabeleland North. When she is back at work in Harare Gogo always jokes that, “Other grandmothers are in the rural areas sitting by the fire but I am selling in town so that I can take care of my grandchildren.”

 

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November 18, 2014: Duduzile Ncube waits for customers on a cold night in Harare. “I work my hardest for my children even when it is raining because I don’t want them to end up street kids or herd boys in the rural areas. They will end up blaming me, their mother, for not giving them a chance.”


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March 28, 2015: Duduzile relaxes at home in Hopely Zone 6 with her granddaughter "Pinky" who had come for a long visit travelling from the family home in Nkayi, Matabeleland North. In addition to supporting her son Methemba (9) and Ronaldo (10), Dudu also takes care of Pinky (5) and her mother Brenda (21). “I work for my children because I don’t want them to feel that because they don’t have a father their life has to be different.”

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December 16, 2014: Matron (21), Gogo Mpofu's oldest granddaughter, does her grandmother's hair at their rural home in Nkayi. "In the old days, when I was younger, I always enjoyed straightening my hair. Now my grandchildren always make sure that I look my best."


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January 14, 2015: Gogo Mpofu plays with her first great grandchild on her way to Nkayi to visit her granddaughters. She travels the 617km route from Harare to Nkone, Nkayi two weeks before the school term begins and stays a week longer to pay school fees and make sure the girls have everything they need.

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February 15, 2015: Lizzie (15), Gogo Mpofu's granddaughter and namesake, greets her grandmother as she arrives home, in Nkayi for a visit.