#OutAndAbout: Airtime Vendors Turned Facebook Experts

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A glimpse from the combi, you see airtime vendors clad in green bibs inscribed “Facebook Expert” on the front. 

Curiosity rocked this reporter, with these questions lingering his mind, “What company are they advertising on behalf of?”, “Since when did vendors get the status ‘Facebook expert?”

By David Zvina

TechnoMag did a survey in the streets asking these vendors which company they were advertising.

TechnoMag gatherd that these bibs were given to vendors by Zimbabwe’s largest mobile networking operator Econet. Wireless Zimbabwe with the back written, “Create a Facebook Account Here free!”

 “I am not that much of a Facebook user and don’t even know what this symbol means. It’s Econet Wireless that simply provided these. We can’t ask anything because we will be in need of advertising material,” he said.

Another vendor noted, “What matters is the profits that we make at the end of the day and not what we are wearing; as long as our families eat we will wear anything as long as we are not naked.”

The back of the Facebook Expert's bib
The back of the Facebook Expert’s bib

More interestingly, the airtime vendor apparel issue  comes barely six months after an Econet branch manager  Munyaradzi Chikwama confiscated over 500 aprons from NetOne to give them his company’s.

“Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has been sending some unidentified agents to move around the nation wiping away NetOne Bibs from vendors  while replacing them with two of their brand new Bibs in exchange for one of their competitor’s,” reported NetOne.

But Econet immediately refuted those claims saying they were simply introducing their fresh new ones into the market which the vendors love.

Econet and NetOne issued press statements where they indirectly poked each other with the words competitor.

In the statement, Econet mentioned that they have their “own vendors” whom they are giving new aprons a move which may have seen other vendors joining the bandwagon and dumping the old ones from their competitor.

A Telecel Zimbabwe executive had also laid the same allegations against Econet but  failed to provide proof thereof. He insisted that all their bibs in Mutare and other towns had been wiped away as well.

An average bib costs from around $5 to top quality costing $9 and having more than 500 of those confiscated costs  an amount to the tune of  $4 500.00.

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