Rosalind C. Morris | Euronews Podcast | March 18, 2021

As you are reading this, thousands of people are scavenging for gold in the world’s deepest abandoned mines of South Africa working as zama zama, clandestine miners. For some of them, there is no other choice: their families would not have a present, nor a future, otherwise. But for others, this dangerous choice entails unrestricted freedom and the possibility of being the makers of their own destiny. After all, miners bringing home the big bucks are the envy of all their peers. In the last two episodes of Cry Like a Boy – a podcast dedicated to exploring the pressures linked to “being a man” – you heard the stories of the brothers of darkness from Lesotho. Men who are willing to put their lives at risk underground to put bread on the table for their loved ones. We believe these forgotten stories push to the extreme a certain kind of pressure that almost everyone feels around the world: the pressure of being a breadwinner.

During episodes 11 and 12 of Cry Like a Boy, we sit down for a moment of reflection and talk about the unknown world of the zama zama with two guests: Mpiwa Mangwiro, who has explored the social consequences of the extractive industry in South Africa in her role as Advocacy Specialist for MenEngage Africa Alliance; and Rosalind Morris, an award-winning anthropologist who has launched a project devoted to the zama zama, featuring a documentary and several short films.

Originally published by Euronews. Listen to the discussion here