An unassuming one-room shoe factory in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe is quite literally defying the economic odds. Founded in 1994, the Courteney boot company has become a global niche brand in hand-made footwear. Despite a downward-spiralling Zimbabwean economy, the 14 staff at Courteney have their hands full to keep up with the increasing international demand.
Chugging through townships, maize fields and scrubland as the sun rises, Zimbabwe’s only commuter train is cheap and reliable — two qualities that its passengers cherish in a downwards-spiralling economy.Each morning sleepy travellers walk to the tracks and clamber aboard before the train leaves the Cowdray Park settlement at 6:00 am on its 20-kilometre (12-mile) journey into Bulawayo, the country’s second city.
At dawn, a township road crossing over a railway track outside Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, turns into a impromptu fitness ‘club’. The ‘club’ has no name, members or structure, but it is one of the only safe spaces to have fun and get fit.