Childlike Fatigues

Young boys dressed in the Zimbabwean National Army uniform on Saturday in Harare to mark The Day of The African Child

When experience takes

the sparkle from children’s eyes

play is replaced with regimentation,

school substituted by soldiers

identity denied



girls and boys

reimaged into adult roles

Soldiers, cooks, porters,

messengers, informants, spies,

sex slaves


Compliant and easy to manipulate

The army fatigues,

a route out of poverty,

compensating for the loss of family

and education.


No childlike sparkle

Instead, vulnerability

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