The untold stories of Zimbabwe’s wives of gold panners

These women undergo all sorts of pressure and stresses that can lead them into depression By Esinathy Sibanda THE FRESH smell of cow dung welcomes one to the deep-green valley of half-explored lands of Shurugwi. A few miles away, the gaudy voice of Precious Moyo is heard giving orders to the herd boy, who is about to take her small herd of cattle to the dew masked grasslands. As energetic as a fiddle, Precious, in her early fifties, tosses sorghum in the air. Soon, chickens come cackling, celebrating the first meal for the day. A few metres away, the goats are watching, waiting impatiently for their meal time to come. But, it is early morning, so they will have to wait longer as Precious has other chores to attend to. This is the life of Precious, who said “yes I do, till death do us part”, thirty years ago to a missing husband, a gold panner.

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