Being Zimbabwean is just human

It seems the new South African immigration laws have just sparked a lot of debate. If you read the comments on you might notice a sharp division between two South African classes.
You will see most people fall into these classes:
White in colour, most likely an employer and appreciative of immigrant contribution
Black employed and unappreciative.

It seems the black African believe the problems bedeviling South Africa is  caused by immigrants. The white African believes it has more to do with the government and the attitude of the black South African.

Words like lazy are a label of the South African employee. That  same South  African employee labels the immigrant, a criminal, an illegal….well to be a foreigner is just human.


Here are a few of the opinions on the site:

“Look at the bigger picture, once these laws have been enforced, deportation of all illegal immigrants will be easier. All professionals would come back with papers.”

“I have my doubts that there will be much positivity out of this.
Foreigners work better than our locals. We will now have to employ south africans who are lazy, with no drive and no sense of urgency. How is that going to benefit the economy in this country. And once they’re in your employ, it’s practically impossible to remove them when they don’t work properly……..
As an employer you’re expected to just put up with the nonsense.”

“Because locals are so bone idle and lazy, expecting daily handouts and everything for free (thanks to the ANC) while Zimbo’s, Malawians etc understand the concept of “hard work” and apply themselves and their minds.”

“It’s not a matter of the foreigners having the better jobs…..
The foreigners just perform better than our locals. They value their jobs more than the locals and the quality is better because of their attitude to their jobs”

“People who hardly walk the streets of jhb will not understand, SA needs to focus on its own people before we try to play big brother to the whole of africa… M just shocked because it seems only zim people are being affected but I mostly hear and see Nigerians”

“These laws are correct provided it applies not only to law abiding citizens and immigrants who want to enter the RSA legally, but also to the millions streaming across our unprotected borders!!
First get all the illegals back to their countries of origin, the patrol our borders, and then only allowed skilled people into the country to enhance the economy!! This will create an immediate approx 5 million jobs currently held by aliens!! (but also rid the authorities of corrupt officials who are responsible for letting aliens get into the country!!!)”

“Viva comrade Malusi viva. Immigrants are destroying our beloved country. Dey transport bulk of drugs to our country that destroy our people, killing people n eat a heart of a human being. And please Minister check even those landing @ OR Tambo airport and focus on rebuilding our country without them.”

“I’ll wait for my Zimbabweans employees to return before employing local militant unionists… get it, got it, good!”

“We see it with the US. Their laws are so strict that I can’t even visit a family member living there for more than 10 days as they are afraid I will overstay my welcome yet they still have many illegals in the country. They are a lot more equipped and they enforce the laws there yet they still struggle. How much more will our country not enforce these laws as they can’t even enforce simple traffic laws!”



Lessons from the workshop- the art of making money

Almost every workshop has something unavailable but is essential for the job. It doesn’t matter what trade you might be, you will always find there is something you need that has not been provided for. For example a boilermaker cannot stop working because he has no spark lighter, she can use a cigarette lighter or a welding machine. Similarly an electrician can by-pass a connection to make things work.

It is not always that certain things are essential in our lives. We tend to postpone because we do not have this or that yet the small things we have are good though not enough to take us to the next level.I have always thought I would invest when I get a lot of money. I have not yet laid my hands on that money and time is ticking on. This taught me to change my situation and to change your situation, you have to shift your position . Get a help use that as leverage. We tend to look at the returns we get and ridicule the 6% return a certain investment might offer. I believe it is better to get that than zero.

I also thought to start a business all I needed was huge some of money. Like the improvisation we do in the workshop, starting a small business might require the same principle. Work with what you have. Do not aspire to be what you can’t be, rather work and aim higher. One step at a time you will get there. Use the resources you have. Maximize the time on your hands.

What kind of business can you do, you might ask. If you are a fitter do you have to go into fitting? Maybe you are a plumber ,do you have to go into plumbing? I would tell you it doesn’t matter whether you are a blacksmith or instruments tech, business is business, the principles are the same. In the following post we will discuss on what you can do with what you have wherever you might be.

Keep discussion, comment or ask questions below.

About the Author

The author is a boilermaker and entrepreneur. He likes helping people uplift themselves. He writes on issues that affect artisans.

Artisans must bargain on their own

In Zimbabwe artisans need to do their own bargaining as artisans. An artisan is an artisan regardless of the industry he/she works in. Whether one is in the metal,chemical or miners’union is irrelevant and a way of trying to suppress wages.

When training there was no training specifically meant for the mines, fertilizer or automotive. Fitting is the same at Sables, Uniliver or Mimosa. A DPF does the same job at Barzem ,or Hwange. The minimum must be the same then companies may adjust up considering the extra dangers that may be faced in particular industries.

Coming from a chemical industry background I was earning more as a 4th year apprentice than a qualified artisan at DC de Souza.

The wages must not be meagre but must match the highest currently being offered. An artisan must get what they deserve whether in government or in the private sector. No more government rates because government doesn’t regulate my landlord. Government doesn’t regulate the prices I am charged so I must get what is worth of me

What is your conditioning

When we are born we are born free from influence.As we grow up we pick up habits from those around us. We seek acceptance from the society we are by doing what that society around us does. We are moulded by the education system to be what that system requires of you. But that moulding might not produce the best of us.
Have you ever imagined what you are today,might not be your best? Has it ever crossed your mind that you are sitting on an untapped gold mine, which is you. You might be that time bomb waiting to happen- not in the destruction sense but exploding into greatness.
It all requires reconditioning. It needs a total mindset shift. Like a snake,you need to shed off that skin you are in. You feel it everyday,you complain about it everyday but still you carry the burden everyday. It is not that you can’t do anything about, its because you are just lazy to move.

You are too timid to move yourself up. What could you gain if you move yourself an inch further from where you are. There are plenty ways you can change your life. Just drop that mindset, that it can’t be done by me syndrome. If not you who else. It is not about what you are now but what you can be. There is potential, full potential in you. Unleash it, let it loose. Do not bottle the real you inside. The real you is screaming out loud to be freed.

The real you is tired of being a prisoner. The chains you are tying yourself in are just too heavy and painful to bear. Those chains are what you cry about everyday. Instead of hoping for a solution,figure it out,help yourself,then the next guy and the next and the next..

If you were taught to k,eel and beg break the rules, its time to stand up and demand. Why would you beg when it belongs to you anyway. Its yours. You have the authority, not the guy who said what can I do. Once more recondition yourself. When a metal is not to the shape we desire, we roll it, machine it, bend it ,hammer it, we treat it until it comes to shape. Recondition yourself and see a better world out there.

College days

11 years ago ,one thing I dreaded most was the lunch break. My allowance was so small , so measly I could not afford buying a meal at the college canteen.  The only thing I could buy there was only a cup of black Tanganda tea with sugar tnat did not even wake up my taste buds. I would take that tea with some heavily buttered quarter bread bought from the storeman at the fabrication workshop. This had to take me for the whole day. Yeah it had .
Sometimes I would eat up to 5 bananas bought from Sheba who has been selling bananas and apples at the small gate at Harare Polytechnic. She deserves a medal that lady. I found her there selling bananas and apples, when I left she was still selling them. When I passed through the college 2 years ago she was still there selling bananas.

If I was not too lazy I would join my fellow trainees into town. We were headed nowhere other than TM’s supermarket  along Harare street. We would buy hot bread or buns ,that gigantic crocodile shaped bun if you remember it, and a handful of cooked dry beans. This is not Heinz baked beans mind you, it is that kind of beans that fill your stomach with gas after eating them. If it was around pay day we would buy a juice, I can’t remember what name it was, but it wasn’t as nice as Lyons Cascade. It was just good enough to stop you from choking. We would sit there along the pavement all lined up from the then Parade Magazine building towards the former Libyan Embassy. We would enjoy our lunch never imagining one day we will be artisans. Then I did not have a passport because I never thought I would  look for a job outside home.

After the meal we would go down Speke Avenue .There was a bookshop there where we would check the Faber Castelle pencils ,T squares and french curves we struggled to buy. We would ask about flexible curves and we were always promised next week. I wanted to see that curve that Mr Mafunga, my drawing lecturer always talked about. I qualified and never saw one. I only bought one in South Africa out of nostalgia. From there we would go back to college to watch the girls from Business school go to the hostels and a few go to the canteen. Then the the guy who sold quarter bread would open the workshop for us ,asking if anyone wanted some bread on credit. Hanzi kunyorwa kumusana.

The value of time

Most of the times we never accomplish what we wanted because never respected time. Time is a resource that when lost, it’s gone for good. Most of the time we procrastinate and leave things that needed today’s attention for tomorrow. This means we are getting behind every day.
One thing I learnt is no matter how much time is left,it is worth something. Usually at work when it is almost knock off time ,guys tend to relax. Oh just ten minutes left what can I do. That little you can do in ten minutes  won’t need to be done again tomorrow. Now imagine, with at least three breaks a day, we might waste away 15 to 30 minutes every day. By the end of the week that amounts to between 45minutes and 1.5 hours each work. Multiply thingy all the time watchers at your workplace.
From an employee perspective this might mean nothing but ask any employer and they will tell you the value of time. That is why they said time is money. So in whatever you do use every second of it. The moment you start managing your time well is the time you are bringing change into your life. If 5 minutes is not much, go and clock out 5 minutes before time. Then you will understand what time means.

What the weaker rand means.

The rand has hit a four year low at 1:10 to the US dollar. This means that most of the Zimartisans who are exporting their labour to the SouthnAfrican economy are getting less each day. Those who were left home are slowly catching with you. If the rand continues to tumble there might come a time when the Zim counterparts are earning more than the diaspora guys.

The weaker rand means imports are going to be expensive. Fuel is going to increase in cost and this affects everything from food to transport.
The question is have you shielded yourself against this. Do not be caught offguard the way you were caught off guard when the Zimdollar tumbled.
Here is a few ways you can shield yourself:
1. Get a US dollar income.
2.Get a small businessnup and running back home. You will be exporting and as an exporter you will get better value to your rands.
3.Negotiate for an increase.
4. Save in a portfolio where you get reasonable interest.
5.Always hunt for bargains and deals to save some cash.