The Debate That Tsitsi Masiyiwa Started: Do We Have A Work Ethic In Zimbabwe?


A few weeks back, Tsitsi Masiyiwa came under fire on twitter after she had in a no direct way questioned our work patterns or work culture as a country. While I may not agree with her tone on that particular post, she really made me think about our work culture as a nation and as individuals.

In many scenarios we have heard this term in shona “ chero yangu ichiuya” a phrase used to express the fact that even if I don’t do my job perfectly, come month end my salary will come in full. This probably originated in the civil service. Our civil service is neither of those things: it’s not civil and it’s not service.. I remember teachers made chero yangu ichiuya a slogan when dealing with kids that don’t do homework.

We have seen many marketing departments that are redundant, many products that have become white elephants, we have seen many social media pages that are not attended to, we have seen websites for big organizations with a full IT department that are not updated. we have done transactions that never completed and we are given sorry excuses up to the point of giving up because the process of reversing the transactions are just tedious.


We have seen many companies still using ancient technology in this modern day era of AI and Machine learning, we have seen employees who spend the day playing on the internet and still be paid at the end of the month. We have been served by very rude customer service reps who make us feel like a burden to them.

All this can only mean one thing. Somewhere, something is broken. Why would a full marketing department not do enough research to push their brands and increase sales than stick to ancient marketing methods that reach a minute audience? Why would you need to be told by outsiders that your website needs to be updated? Why are you still using human beings to do tasks that can be done faster and efficiently by a machine or an algorithm?

Is it because our working environments have broken down so much that nobody seems to care from the management to the last person in the organization? Is It because we are not being paid enough hence we take these tasks lightly? What has caused our work ethic to deteriorate so much?

What can we do about all this?

Developers out there, have you ever thought of developing a system that can measure productivity at work, a system that will trace the employee’s steps from 8 am to 5 pm and give a report to the boss about their work, which the bosses can use to assess productivity and then give a none biased assessment of why something is appearing the way it is? Have you ever thought of tailor making this solution to suit any business that will engage you to provide this solution to them?  

If not, you have a long way to go, but hey chero yenyu ichiuya yakakwana….

About Guest Author Rose Masayile

Rose is a brand message and social media specialist at Controvert, the parent company of Techzim. Her daily grind is to work with ad agencies and brand managers to construct and distribute brand messages in the digital universe 

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