Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

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Chipo Maendesa
Yohai Hakak corresponding author


This qualitative study explores the lived experiences of Shona/Ndebele inter-tribal families in England, the challenges they face, and their responses to these. The findings show that the atrocities of the Gukurahundi continue to cast their shadow on some of these families. Disapproval of the marriage from one or both sides of the couple's parents leads to the couple's parents' subsequent lack of interest in the children born in these families. This is then extended to the wider family. Gender imbalances, culture shock and communication difficulties were other challenges faced by such couples. Couples learned to compromise and bring their cultures together, for example through cooking. The three-legged pot' metaphor was used by older women to teach younger, mainly Ndebele, women to accept male infidelity. This study will inform practitioners working with such couples as well as other mixed couples, especially those originating from areas of conflict.

Zimbabwe, inter-tribal families, migration, England

Article Details

How to Cite
Maendesa, C., & Hakak, Y. (2022). The three-legged pot and the lasting impact of the Gukurahundi: Shona Ndebele inter-tribal families in England. Social Work and Social Welfare, 4(2), 242-251.


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