Harurwa Trading and Informal Learning by Children in Bikita District, Zimbabwe

Fortunate Madondo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The experiences children go through in the first eight years of life are crucial for determining success or failure in later life. Although at this level children are mostly nurtured through the formal education system, some particularly the vulnerable and poor only have informal education at their disposal. Recent studies are gradually recognising the importance of informal education to the developing child. Scholars concur that knowledge acquired from informal education has long lasting effects to the child’s future aspirations and livelihood strategies. This article reports on a phenomenological study conducted between January and May 2018 in Zimbabwe’s Bikita district. The study explored the implications of Harurwa trading for the informal learning of child vendors. Participants included 25 child vendors, 3 adult vendors and 2 school administrators. Findings suggested that the children learned several life skills at the market due to their involvement in Harurwa trading. The skills included: entrepreneurship, socialisation and language development through intergenerational interactions occurring at the market, and most importantly problem solving. The study recommended that a multi-sectorial approach should be employed to better the livelihood of child vendors and others in similar contexts. More recommendations are given at the end of the chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAfrican Futures and Childhood Studies in Africa
Subtitle of host publicationHarurwa Trading and Informal Learning by Children in Bikita District, Zimbabwe
EditorsTatek Adebe
Place of PublicationDakar Senegal
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022


  • Africa
  • Childhood
  • futures
  • African
  • studies


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