Tafazuwa Chibukwa, Chronicle Reporter
For decades, societal attitudes have reflected the view that people with disabilities (PWD) are objects of fear and pity. Issues of access, equal opportunity and inclusion have always been a concern. The list of barriers and challenges faced by people with disabilities is meandering.
Despite the myriad challenges that people with disabilities face, some are resilient and able to fight hard for themselves and their families. Chronicle interviewed vendors with physical disabilities to share their experiences, challenges, and how they approach everyday life.
Nguboyenja suburban Toddy Mudzengerere said he had done everything he could to break the stereotype of being treated like a second-class citizen.
“Most of the time, people with disabilities have this attitude of being relaxed and waiting for a sponsor to maintain their lifestyle, forgetting that they don’t receive money or donations every time. That’s why I always tell myself to work hard and provide for my family with my own hands and not wait for others to do so while I’m there. I started a vending business and put food on the table for my family,” he said.
Mr Mudzengerere said the only thing he really expected from society and government was equal treatment and consideration of the rights of persons with disabilities.
“The government should consider making disability-friendly reforms to support small businesses. You can support us by
Another disabled vendor, Possento Mirillo, who lives on the outskirts of Sijinda, said he faces mobility challenges.
Mlilo has to push her wheelchair from the suburbs to the city center where she works.
“The biggest challenge I face is mobility. Transportation is not very welcoming as I am wheelchair bound. Even after they see me in need, they pass me, so my efforts are in vain. I said to myself,” he said.
Mr. Mlilo said of his situation that he had to wake up as early as 5am to quickly pack his belongings and set off on his journey.