Grandmas Grow Gold in Swaziland
Khathazile, a grandmother/gogo from Piggs Peak, took on her 11 grandchildren after the death of her 3 daughters. Africa is one of the highest H.I.V. infected places which often leaves people like Khathazile no other choice. However, taking on 11 children in her one room hut has been a challenge and they have struggled to survive. After many attempts and crops failing, somebody told Khathazile about growing “gold”, also known as weed. Because she didn’t feel she had any other choice and she did not see abandoning her grandchildren as an option, the only way to make sure her grandchildren were fed, clothed and able to attend school was for her to start to sell “Gold” as well.
Planting and selling marijuana is not the easiest task for Khathazile. She has go deep within the woods in the mountains, plow the land, and plant seeds. But it is more than just that. It is very risky to sell. If the police find her crops they will burn them down, in order to not get caught with any marijuana she has to sell it immediately, even if it means selling it for cheap, and although it provides temporarily and keeps food on the table, it’s not exactly what she wants to be doing. Khathazile has never tried marijuana and feels as though it would make her fall over drunk. She also doesn’t consider herself to be like other drug dealers. For Khathazile, it is about doing what you have to do in order to keep her grandchildren from starving.
In summary, I think that this is a global social issue that has to do with more than just being in poverty. Because there are certain parts of the world that are uneducated, under protected, and so on people are infected daily with H.I.V. and it is killing people off. This is changing the social dynamics of the family as well. Children have to be raised by family members because their mothers are dying from a disease that cannot be cured. Even though there is medication to help with H.I.V. it is often too expensive for them to afford, they don’t know that they are infected with H.I.V., or their living conditions are so bad that they easily get sick which cause H.I.V. to get worse. Because H.I.V. is killing people off, grandparents and other relatives have to struggle to survive and feed extra mouths. Which then leads to desperate measures and them doing whatever it takes because they are in poverty, even if they don’t like what they are doing and it’s illegal. Because of these types of situations, family dynamics are changing and what the world considers to be the “ideal” family is changing. In order to change this, something has to be done, people have to become educated.
Source was found from following website: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/world/africa/grandmothers-grow-marijuana-in-swaziland-to-support-families.html?_r=1