After 50 years, stateless Shona still trapped in Kenya’s shadows

Published: 29/Mai/2015
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

In a village on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, 53-year-old Margaret Maposa embroiders seat covers for a customer, sitting with her niece Elizabeth Moyo, who is weaving a multi-colored basket.

Both women wear white headscarves, subtle markers of their membership of the 2,000-strong stateless Zimbabwean Shona community who have been living invisibly among Kenyans for more than 50 years.

Maposa moved to Kenya as a two-year-old with her parents in 1963. Her family stayed on after war broke out in Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, in 1964 and continued until 1980.

« I do not know whether I’m Kenyan or Zimbabwean, » said the mother of five, in Kiambaa village. « I have lived, married and raised a family here but still I do not have any papers. »

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Themes: Apatridie, Discrimination, Ethnique/Raciale/Religieuse
Regions: Kenya, Afrique de l'Est
Year: 2015