Former street kid transcends barriers
21 May 2006
Harare, Zimbabwe: The film, according to Makope, an ex-street kid, will follow the storyline of the book, "A Zimbabwean Street Story", detailing the lives of street children. In the book, street children speak about their predicaments, dreams and aspirations and how they wish to be accommodated in our everyday lives.
Makope used to live on the streets of Harare. Now, with help from nongovernmental organizations, he is filiming and writing about the lives of street children.
Having experienced street life for a while, Makope has found it very easy to talk about his experiences and of others living on the streets.
“It was written to help people from all walks of life understand that we are not their enemies, but rather that they are human beings who deserve to be treated kindly and with respect,” said Makope. Makope said he was inspired to do projects about street children by Brendon Buzzard, an American who wrote about the lives of Zimbabwean street children.
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, United Nations Volunteers and individuals such as Hazel Parsons and Lijiliana Vlacic have been on the fore front in helping Makope in his street children projects.Of the 450 children interviewed by Zimbabwe’s National Council for the Welfare of Children, with support from UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), 58 percent had become homeless during 2003.The United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (Unicef) said the assessment indicated that the number of children in Harare and Chitungwiza, 35 km east of the capital, could be higher than the estimated 5,000.
A report in 2004 attributed the growing number of children living in the streets to the country’s worsening economic conditions. Makope was born in Domboshava and attended Parirewa high School before joining the growing number of youngsters living on the streets after his parents divorced.