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What is going on in my local community
Monica Chiduku
May 12, 2005

In my local community I have seen youths who are involved in drug abuse and prostitution. I usually see them sitting beside the road smoking and doing all sorts of things, which they think are right.

One thing that I have noticed is that these young people do not have anything to do in their lives. Most of their parents have died because of these dangerous diseases. The young people in the community think that drinking, drug abuse and prostitution is the only thing, which can help them. You can find that some of these young people do not have both parents so they will be trying to make their own living.

I have seen this family that will not say their name. Their parents are late and they are left with a sister who is only 16 years and her brother who is 14 years. She is no longer going to school because she is the only one who is looking after her two young sisters. So this girl has to work hard so that she can get money for food, rent and everything that is needed in our day-to-day life.

This young girl used to go to Mbare Musika to buy tomatoes, vegetables and resell them. She has been doing this for almost three months now but our economy does not allow her to have enough money for the buying and selling. She has tried to ask for money from her relatives but now things are hard for everyone and all she could get were empty promises. Then she thought she could ask for the money from her friend. You know what she said? Her friend told her that she was going to take her where she could get money without working hard.

It was in the evening when the friend came to her place and said can you accompany me so that your problems will be solved. This young girl tried to ask where exactly they were going but she was only told that she was going to see when they got there. To her surprise they went to a nightclub. At first she ran away and went back home. Her friend came the following day and she showed her a lot of money. So the next day she joined her friend and came with a lot of money so she thought it was a good idea since they did not need capital to start with. She managed to pay rent and everything including school fees for her young sisters.

This girl had a brother who was 14 years so they decided that the two of them would no longer go to school so that they can work and help their young sisters, since they had completed their grade 7. So the brother was just taking alcohol and playing with sugar mamas since there was no one to control him.

A year later this young girl was suffering from headaches. She went to several doctors to get treated but all could not help. She even tried mushonga but nothing worked out. Now you see her parents died and she was in a situation that needed her to help her young ones but the way she did so was not proper. You see now people are suffering because our economy is not good. It's not that this girl wanted to be in this situation but because she does not have money, she forced herself do prostitution.

The girl also passed away.

There are so many situations that young people are facing in my community because of the economy. And I think something should be done to improve our economy so that people can stop this business of prostitution in order to get money to buy basic commodities. Imagine a child keeping another child! Also there should be a lot of job creation so that these young people can find work or enrol in courses at affordable fees so that the young people will find something to do other than spending their time loitering the streets.

We want all young people to become self-sustained.

*This essay was written during a Kubatana motivational workshop, 10-11 May 2005

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