THE sixth episode of Shelea, a radio drama that chronicles women struggles and triumphs in contemporary society, has cautioned against unorthodox means to cross the border, especially to South Africa in search of greener pastures in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
After the coronavirus outbreak put a halt to cross-border travel, desperate Zimbabweans have been crossing the border illegally in search of survival means, risking spreading the COVID-19 pandemic.
The drama’s episode six opens with a conversation between Mai Munashe and Sisi Kiri as the latter sought help to take her daughter Tulisani to Mbudzi round about bus terminus so she could hike to South Africa.
The duo’s conversation touched on corruption, how truck drivers were smuggling people into South Africa.
“The driver, who is supposed to take her (Tulisani) to South Africa, knows the way to do things, even when one has no passport. They have their own routes that they use without encountering problems,” Sisi Kiri said.
Mai Munashe, however, tries to advise Sisi Kiri that it was risky for her daughter to cross the border using unorthodox means, reminding her that many people had lost their lives in an attempt to illegally cross the border.
“There are dangerous people called maguma guma (thugs) who rob and kill people. If they catch you, they take all your money, phone and everything that would be in your possession and if you are a woman you risk being raped in the bush,” said Mai Munashe.
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Later Sisi Kiri admits she had been in the dark about the evils that could happen if one ran out of luck in an attempt to cross the border illegally.
“I didn’t know of all that you have said Mai Munashe. No one had told me before of such evils, people just used to say truck drivers help you to cross the borders without hassle,” she said.
Mai Munashe responded: “I dealt with these truck drivers way back, they don’t give you accurate information. There is no one who makes you cross the border for free, these truck drivers ask for favours and in most cases they demand sexual favours.”
The episode also looks at drug abuse, evident in the conversation between Tambu (who is abusing drugs) and Mabhena.
Mabhena alleges that Tambu has become an addict abusing alcohol such that she is abandoning the women’s project which she has been part of.
Some difficulties faced by women, especially informal traders who lack proof of employment and collateral required when opening bank accounts and borrowing money from the bank also came under spotlight.
Written by Sitshengisiwe Olinda Siziba and produced by Patsimeredu Edutainment Trust, the drama is part of a She-Leads project being spearheaded by Hivos in partnership with the Irish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.
The drama is a compelling story of a young female politician, Shelea, who faces hurdles as she tries to balance between being a wife and mother at the same time making a difference in her community.
The drama’s cast includes award-winning actress Caroline Mashingaidze, veteran actor Nash Mphepo, Siziba, Nobert Makoche, Magenga, Shahmaine Mukutirwa, Tapiwa Henry Mutekede and Farirai Mhuru.
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