Through Filmic Lenses: The Social Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Orphaned Girl Child in Zimbabwe


  • Maurice Taonezvi Vambe University of South Africa
  • Washington Mushore Midlands State University



challenges, orphans, HIV/AIDS, child-headed families, film, Zimbabwe


Millions of children worldwide have become orphaned for many reasons such as war, famine, displacement, disease, and poverty. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has drastically altered the world children live in. It has led to many children becoming orphans worldwide. An orphan, according to the World Vision, is a child younger than 18 years who has lost either one biological, foster or adoptive parent or both biological, foster or adoptive parents. The Sunday Mail of 12 November 2017 carried a story in which the United Nations International Children’s Fund reported that 17.8 million children worldwide have lost both parents (double orphan), with 153 million having lost one parent (single orphan). The United Nations International Children’s Fund, furthermore, reported that in Zimbabwe there were close to 2 million orphans, with an estimated 3 900 orphans being raised in orphanages. The social roles, rights and privileges of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS have ultimately become disrupted particularly in child-headed households. Guided by the media reflection hypothesis coupled with a qualitative content approach, this article critically examines Everyone’s Child, a Zimbabwean feature film directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga in 1996, to discuss some of the social impacts of HIV/AIDS on the orphaned girl child in Zimbabwe. Films play an important role in society. They act as reflectors or mirrors of society; therefore, this article argues that the film Everyone’s Child reflects back to society which challenges are faced by children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in child-headed families in Zimbabwe. The absence of biological parents therefore makes the life of orphans stressful and affects their well-being negatively.

Author Biography

Maurice Taonezvi Vambe, University of South Africa



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Everyone’s Child. 1996. Produced by Media for Development Trust and directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga.



How to Cite

Vambe, Maurice Taonezvi, and Washington Mushore. “Through Filmic Lenses: The Social Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Orphaned Girl Child in Zimbabwe”. Commonwealth Youth and Development, 18 pages .



Received 2021-03-26
Accepted 2021-06-21
Published 2023-10-10