The phenomenon of children living on the streets is not new.
Many of us have gone through life recognising children living on the streets and christening them Street kids.
But what is worrying now is the growing trend where parents actually use their children as bait objects to drive their sustenance.
The smile of any child is endearing, equally heart-rending is the sight of a child’s gloomy face depicting hunger, neglect and or anguish.
These little faces have become part of everyday encounters and at the busy intersection of Rekai Tangwena and Robert Mugabe this reality is lived as one is bound to catch site of a little boy of around 5 years moving from car to car begging and in some cases effortlessly changing lanes.
A few meters away is another young boy of around 8 years who is also doing the same routine.
A ZBC crew stopped to observe and understudy the goings on.
A well-wisher gives the little boy something and the little boy in turn runs off towards a woman lying in a shade on the side of the road, who apparently happens to be the mother.
“Kutouya pano zvitori nani nekuti towana $5 to $10 a day todzokera kumba. (Coming here is better because we get about $5 to $10 and we find our way home),” said the mother.
It’s a selfish venture that is along the way stealing the life of the little boy who now only knows life on the streets with little attention towards academically equipping him.
“Kana ndakura ndoda kuzogeza mota. (When I grow up I want to wash cars),” said the boy.
This family provides just a microscopic view of the bigger story of what is happening on the streets, how parents instead of protecting and sheltering their children are instead abusing their parental right to use their children to beg and scavenge, profiteering at the expense of shattered dreams and destroyed childhoods.