Hats off to street hustlers, and those entrepreneurs who are self-made millionaires
By Addlyne Hencil
This week, I take a moment to recognise our country’s self-employed, street hustlers, entrepreneurs, home industry and self-made millionaires of Zimbabwe.
You are the reason the wheels of commerce still grind in Zimbabwe. As I went about my business in Zimbabwe this week, I couldn’t help but notice the creativity by Zimbabweans to create their own employment and the entrepreneurial spirit in my brothers and sisters.
The shops stacked with imported goods, and in some cases long lines outside as people queued to enter the store in line with covid regulations. I stayed at an Air B n B apartment on the Cnr of Tongogara and 2nd. I was pleasantly surprised at the interior as I was handed my key.
Harare is far from alseep
A self-catering 1one bedroom apartment. Rich linen, beautiful and professionally decorated, freshly painted, wifi. I felt at home for only US$40 per night. And the rooms are full, everyday, with tourists and travellers from all over. Harare is far from asleep.
A concern is the traffic congestion in Harare has gone from bad to worse with street closures at more corners due the never ending construction of the Mbuya Nehanda statue, getting in and around town proved to be a nightmare as drivers no longer obey the rules of the road, and not a single traffic officer in sight.
Other than those parking meter money collectors, worse at intersections where traffic lights are out. It seems like local government / municipality or town planners are not doing enough fast enough to resolve the cities traffic nightmares.
Another bottleneck is Norton into Harare, an hour delay at the toll gate as motorists battle to get connectivity to Ecocash payments. Where are the city engineers and town planners? Have they all migrated to the diaspora?
Traffic split and alternative routes after Norton into Harare are a dire need. I watched how patiently fellow drivers waited at the toll gates.
Others fell asleep, while others got out of their cars to strike conversation and network.
Exchanging numbers and making the most out of the bad situation. The type of cars on the road immediately tell you that money is being made some how, somewhere.
On my last day in Harare, as my driver tried his best to get me to the airport in time, he took a route via Mbare Mupedzanhamo.
Now here is where you see real hard-core entrepreneurs. From scrap metal to clothing, every spot is occupied with a makeshift shop either selling something or offering a service of sort.
I was in absolute awe as I came to realise that these are the real patriotic Zimbabweans who maybe not by choice, are still in Zimbabwe and decided to make it work.
This is unlike the rest of us in the diaspora, who complain and criticise from a distance and are doing nothing for ourselves or for the country other than comment negatively on those trying to make a difference.
The reality is no matter how much people and the world will talk good or bad about the economic situation in Zimbabwe, the bottom line is: You either understand it or you don’t. The people on the ground have sure as hell mastered the formula and are building houses.
Untold stories, true stories of how Zimbabweans are bulk stocking from South Africa
Yes, things are not rosey, but the amount of new construction going on in Harare and the surroundings is amazing.
Trade and business are thriving – amid all the reports of deterioration and other falling of standards. The trick I guess is to place your trojan horse now and observe.
I identified tons of opportunities in Zimbabwe, Good Government or not, Zanu PF or not. remember that two weeks ago I spoke about our superlink trucks that are feeding groceries in bulk to the informational traders of Zimbabwe.
From next week I will be telling you about the amazing stories of Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe are doing amazing things under the sun.
And there are many, many of them. The country is open for business – but only if you take the time to understand its dynamics.
Hats off to all Zimbabweans living in Zimbabwe making the most of the situation. You are my heroes. I was humbled and inspired to see and feel the spirit of not giving a damn about politics and making money. People have a great need to succeed.
As I got on to my flight to Johannesburg, I was even more inspired to do my bit to pull investment into the country and support local businesses. I’m inspired return soon to interview many entrepreneurs and tell their stories.
There is a lot to learn from the street hustlers of Mbare and the self made millionaires. Well done for not giving up on yourself and on the country.
I look forward to playing my part – Diaspora are you?
Addlyne Hencil is with Jit-Tv & The Media Box, Mud Hut Consulting, Tinavo Holdings, and Healthcare Infusion Solutions. This column is published in partnership with The Sunday Express. Follow her on social media. Her new programme Ndinotaura Zvandinoda is loading.
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