Broke & Broken
Zwelendaba Mgidi is dying. He is a depressed,sickly man who cannot even leave his homeor perform the simplest of duties such asgardening. He used to be a very fit man; a boxerand road runner full of life and energy. But the28 years he spent working underground in themines of South Africa's Gold Fields in the FreeState have left him a wreck. In 2008, aged 48, hereceived devastating news. The Medical Bureaufor Occupational Diseases diagnosed him withsilicosis, "an irreversible, progressive, incurableand at a later stage disabling and potentially fataldisease."
Mgidi was recruited for the mines by The Employment Bureau of Africa (TEBA) when he was only 18 years old in 1978. When he returned home at the age of 51, he was a shadow of the man he once was. This is the fate that has befallen hundreds of thousands of African men who, since the gold rush of Johannesburg in 1886, were recruited from their villages to provide cheap labour on the gold mines of Transvaal and the Free State.
Broke and Broken: The Shameful Legacy of Gold Mining in South Africa̴Ì_explores the exploitation, the blatant disregard for health and safety regulations whose implications continue to be felt in rural villages far away from the imposing mine shafts.
This book explores one of southern Africa's greatest tragedies and it is told by themen from Pondoland and Lesotho, the labour reserves that oiled the gold miningindustry. It also delves into how, as a result of migrant labour, families were brokenand how generations of families followed the well-worn path to the mines, only toreturn years later carrying a disease that is incurable and leads to a slow, painfuldeath.
Broke and Broken explores how following the deaths of their spouses, widows are leftto live in deprivation and struggle to raise children on handouts, thus creating fertileground for another generation of poor young men with no choice but to follow the
same route followed by their fathers before them to the gold mines. It is a storyof human tragedy, suffering and how in their quest for profit, the mining housescared very little about the health and safety of the very men whose sweat made themmillions in profit.
About the authors
Lucas Ledwaba̴Ì_is a Johannesburg-based journalist and author. He is the co-author of̴Ì_We Are Going to Kill Each Other Today -- The Marikana Story̴Ì_[Tafelberg-2013].His work was also published in legendary photographer Jurgen Schadeberg's bookVoices from the Land . Ledwaba has published works of fiction in the journal̴Ì_Botsotso, Litnet̴Ì_and̴Ì_DRUM̴Ì_magazine. He is a three-time nominee and two-time category winner of the CNN\MultiChoice African Journalist Award for feature writing. He has also won the Standard Bank Sikuvile Award for Feature Writing and the Vodacom Journalism Award for Feature Writing.
Leon Sadikiis an award-winning photojournalist. His work on Marikana won him the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Award Story of the Year 2013 andCNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award in the same year. His striking images of the Marikana massacre were published in his book,'We Are Going to Kill Each Other Today' -- The Marikana story.The photographs were also exhibited at SouthAfrica's seat of the Constitutional Court, Johannesburg to mark the first anniversary of the massacre. He is currently a senior photojournalist at the̴Ì_City Press̴Ì_national newspaper in South Africa.
Authors Lucas Ledwaba and Leon Sadiki
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