World Cup: Beating ZESA’s dirty tricks

Garikai Dzoma Avatar


So I have already expressed my love for the Germans and how much I loathe the beautiful Samba football of the Brazilians – may they crash out in the first round.

Whilst getting ready to watch the beautiful game I thought I had already covered every base and prepared for every contingency: Nice little 32″ flat screen TV check, Surround Sound Home theatre system (to drown my cheers and moans) check, remote control batteries check and finally reliable power from ZESA check ( it has been a while since I had a black out and besides these don’t happen at night) or so I thought.

Then it happened at the most inauspicious of all times, during the Germany vs Armenia friendly smack in the 65th moment of the game when the teams were 1-1.

As it turns out some thief stole some copper cables at the local transformer causing the blackout. No, said others, there was a blackout then the thieves stole the copper cables. At circa 1 am? Every house had to pay $5 “for replacement copper cables.” The replacements looked suspiciously similar to the original cables.

When power was finally restored the following evening I found out that the final score line was 6-1; 5 goals were scored in the last 25 minutes and I wasn’t there to see them. Just my luck. I however came up with a very informal fix for the problem. No way I am missing the most important moments of these games again. I have devised a dirty little trick to navigate and bridge those ZESA moments.


  • 12V Car battery. A dry cell battery is preferable to the acid ones. I never really liked the practical aspects of chemistry preferring the theoretical side instead so if you have an acid battery lying around instead feel free to use it but you should know you are on your own. Don’t you dare ask me questions about them they give me the hibbie jibbies. You can of course buy one.
  • Old universal laptop charger – make sure that the output matches your battery voltage. You are also free to buy a small battery charger.
  • Solar inverter. Make sure that the rated wattage of the inverter exceeds the sum of your combined Hi-Fi devices’ wattage. While your big TV will allow you to enjoy more it is a disaster during blackouts. My reliable 32 inch device is rated 85 watts and the non-PVR decoder around 40 watts so I bought a 180 watts inverter for $15. Cue the smaller the inverter the longer your battery lasts also don’t buy an inverter whose rating is too high when compared to your devices that would just waste the battery.


  • During the moments ZESA blesses you with power connect your laptop charger/battery charger to the battery and charge it.
  • When the dark hour struck just switch to inverter power.

NB Beware the DStv boot up time. To avoid this you can connect your decoder to a UPS instead but that is a luxury I cannot afford.

Happy football.



  1. Admore

    nice piece of advice buddy,will definately try that.

  2. Anonymous

    this article is vague at best WTF am i supposed to charge wth th laptop charger

  3. Braddock

    A setup like this one or similar but better will set you back $35 – $40 dollars buts its good for at least a year before a battey change, where the battery costs $10 – $15

  4. juss

    laptop charger, charges the battey when zesa is around. Connecting battery to tv via inverter

  5. juss


  6. Noob

    Appreciate the tips man. Where did you purchase the equipment, any pointers there?

  7. Itai Hillary Zimwara

    Great article Gari.

    One important point though is that laptop chargers are designed to charge very small Li-ion batteries just about 4.4aH. Standard car batteries are at least 36-50aH and those suitable for this purpose are 90-150aH.

    The laptop charger will only provide at trickle charge to the battery not enough to fill it. Think filling a 5L container with petrol using a syringe:-) Smarter laptop chargers would actually stop charging once the battery reaches the 4.4aH level (your TV will not run with a battery at this capacity).

    Instead one should purchase a combined inverter charger at once. A proper deep cycle battery would also be a good investment. It’s a little expensive but this will charge the battery to full capacity so you can enjoy the game without interruptions.

    1. Anonymous

      So how much money would we need and were can we buy the equipment… any help would be much appreciated…

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