Mbare was the first high-density suburb (township), being established in 1907.
Before independence, Mbare was called Harare, meaning the place where people do not go to sleep. Many of today’s prominent leaders have at one time or another lived in the suburb, with a good measure of them having been born and bred there. Today, because 90% of the population is unemployed, most of the people living there survive from the informal economy. Mbare has three bigs market (food, clothes, scraps..) where cash flow everyday.
Walking into the residential parts of Mbare, I had the chance to meet Cleopas. He introduced me to the different neighborhoods and invite me to come in his room, a 14 square meter room, in the Shawasha flats. For 100 US$, he is sharing this room with a friend of him, Blessing. Both went to university but never found any job when graduated. After three hours with him, it was time for him to go back to the market. He was pushing a cart full of scrap from the market to people’s home, delivering their purchase and receiving few bond notes back.
While i was in Harare, Zimbabwe for Mugabe’s fall, I spent most of my free time in Mbare. Feeling the Genuine Vibe, learning about this country and its people.