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Running Ahead

Zimbabwean Women Navigating Precarity in Johannesburg

by Thelma N. Nyarhi

This book reviews the possibilities for livelihoods to emerge through the acts of ‘trying’. It centres itself in the Johannesburg CBD and shares stories of Zimbabwean migrants residing within the metropolis. These stories were collated through the female Joburg runners. Additional respondents were sought through the runner network systems which included wrappers, and transporters. Literature has largely focused on male migrants. However, the trend of feminised migration continues to rise. This invites the telling of stories of the lived experiences of these women in a place where they are considered as vulnerable ‘soft targets’.Hence the present study traces the nimble footedness of the female migrant in knowing when to cross, recross and crisscross borders and boundaries. The research contributes an added perspective to the conventional migration narrative, within which women are frequently portrayed as the inaudible voices and passive actors and frequently appear as accompanying social actors who moved to join their spouses or merely remain at home and await remittances. Through the prism of the Joburg runners, this study invites conversations around (im)mobility, reimagination of belonging and identity.

ISBN 9789956553556 | 124 pages | 203x127mm | 2023 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

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