Sibongile Dube knows the devastation heavy rain can leave in its wake. A villager in the lowveld area of Mberengwa in Zimbabwe’s Midlands province, Dube’s home is one of many that were washed away by flash floods last year.
From downtown shops that stock cheap clothing and shoes that fall apart after one wear, to mining concessions in platinum, gold and diamonds - the Chinese finger is now in virtually every Zimbabwean pie.
Tinashe Zuze’s story is a typical one of Zimbabwe’s professionals who have shunned formal employment. Instead of working for someone else, Zuze left his job as a bank teller and entered into the world of "wheeling and dealing" in illegal foreign currency.
Thomas Dlakama has experienced what he calls "January disease" all his working life. This phenomenon afflicts millions in Zimbabwe, and its symptoms include an empty purse, rising blood pressure among irascible breadwinners, and a general inexplicable hope of manna from heaven.
Duduzile Sibanda takes a break from preparing her long stretch of land for her maize crop in rural Mberengwa, in Zimbabwe’s Midlands province. She wipes her brow under the scorching sun and looks upwards. The sparse clouds are a cause of concern as she studies the sky and wonders aloud when the "heavens will weep."
Collecting the monthly subscriptions for her co-operative has always been a headache for Thelma Nare, 41. This is because Nare lives in Tshitshi, Plumtree in rural Zimbabwe, about 60 kilometres away from the humdrum of the nearest town centre where banks are located.
As concerns deepen about the quality of education in Zimbabwe, parents can expect an indefinite extension of subsidising teacher salaries as the cash- strapped government struggles to meet the bloated civil service wage bill.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for second-hand clothes traders like Susanne Jabavu to do business because of rising costs to import bales of clothing from neighbouring countries.
Thomas Njini is used to working with burst sewers and water pipes. It is a daily experience for him to respond to calls where he has to shovel human waste to clear blocked sewers. It is a job he continues to do with unenviable dedication in this city of two million people.
Johnson Gama knows life on the poverty line only too well. A qualified teacher, Gama has in the last few years been unable to survive on his salary despite working in a profession which two decades ago was considered middleclass in Zimbabwe.
Every month Cynthia Dube and the nine other women from her co-operative make sure they sell enough clothes and appliances to put 100 dollars each in a joint savings. When they have enough money, they will buy each member a plot of land. And eventually they will help each other build their own homes.
At independence in 1980, Loyce Tshuma (55), a villager in rural Tsholotsho in Matebeleland North, was a loyal believer in politics as a powerful vehicle to change and better lives. Since then she never missed an opportunity to cast her vote.
A newly available electronic banking service has received a lukewarm reception from cross-border traders in Zimbabwe’s second largest city Bulawayo, despite it alleviating the need to move around with large sums of cash.
Zimbabwe's veteran women politicians fear there are no younger women coming up through the ranks to replace them. Measures to improve women's representation have achieved little and young women are absent from the traditional entry points into politics.
Across Zimbabwe, economic and political crisis has forced students to do without books, classroom furniture, teachers - the basics of a conducive learning environment. These learners cannot go to libraries, so the libraries have gone to them.