Women in Zimbabwe are taking huge leaps towards their economic empowerment even when this involves taking high risks where their lives are seriously exposed every minute.

Working in these dangerous conditions is 16 year old Manyara a Form Three student whose determination towards her education has pushed her into gold panning for her school fees, no matter how risky the situation is.

Her school fees costs US$45 per term and she has to work extra hard to cover the arrears incurred from last term. 

Working along with her mother they spend long hours in this water body to realise very little traces of the yellow metal which barely can be sold for $2.

This means they have to do much more before schools open.  If not, Manyara’s dream of becoming an engineer someday will be shattered.

Her story is a reflection of the hundreds of women and young girls who are now benchmarking their livelihoods panning for gold along Mazowe River.

The industry is lucrative but the working conditions are not conducive.

Every minute of their lives is at risk as the river is home to hippopotamus and crocodiles.