Photographer's Note

This woman was probably preparing 'sadza', maize/corn porridge, in a communal kitchen. I met her in Musume, a municipality in southern Zimbabwe, in January 1984. The area was hit by drought for the third successive year and most crops had been destroyed.

Musume seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, but there were good connections with the major cities, so essential food was probably delivered here. I didn't see any obviously undernourished persons in Musume, but the situation was much worse in small and isolated places off the major roads.

During my visit to Musume I was shown around by my host, a Swedish missionary priest, after we had been to the Sunday mass which had been performed by a local preacher. I had spent the night in the vicarage on a matress on the floor, protected from mosquitoes by a net hung from the ceiling. Having been told that they had recently found a cobra in the children's room, I felt assured the net would also protect me against snakes.

I had completely forgotten this photo but was happy to find it. Perhaps she looks too closely into the camera, but this was long before the days of mobile phones with cameras, so it may have been a special event to be photographed.

Two other ladies I met in Musume can be seen in the WS. All photos are original B&W, scanned from Kodak TRI-X negatives.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12420 W: 572 N: 23847] (102008)
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