Zimbabwe has reputable car servicing operators such as Mike Harris ,AMTEC, TOYOTA Zimbabwe as well as ZIMOCO.
While these companies dominate the car service industry, indigenous Zimbabweans have wormed their way into the market in order to get their fair share from of the cake.
By David Zvina
This has seen the rise of indigenous freelance auto electricians or Musiyamwas (loosely translated as Indigenous business owners). These guys are renowned for their flexibility in their way of doing business.
They can fix a car anywhere, anytime (even at midnight) and at a negotiated fee. Munashe Chokodza a young man aged 23 who is also a holder of a Diploma in Motor Mechanics at Chaminuka College decided to become a freelance Auto-mechanic and his choice has just paid dividends.
Together with his companion, they co-founder of Seke Motor Spares which has become somehow a household name in the industry.
Technomag crew visited the young lad stationed along Harare Street who revealed his passion for cars which began at a tender age.
“I have been in love with cars since childhood and had to nurture this passion to a skill which now feeds me. It sometimes surprises me to see what i have become over the years. I am a specialist at fixing cars at this young age getting big clients everyday.
“At school I was not as bright as other students, but every time I would go to my uncle’s place who was a mechanic at AMTEC where I got to learn about cars. I would go there with a smile because this was my chance to learn what was truly in my heart,” he said.
Although Chokodza did not attain 5 “O” Levels, his failure did not deter him from pursuing his dream of becoming a renowned auto electrician and owning a business.
“Having failed to pass my “O” level, I enrolled at Chaminuka and guess what I am what I am because of my trade as a mechanic and I’m truly proud to be the doctor who doesn’t heal people but the technological babies known as cars,” he said.
As he took a sip of the shumba maheu he had brought at a nearby vendor he illustrated proudly that ‘ kana zvichinatso fire we can make up to 5000 per week , especially kana ma boss akuuya ne muchovha yavo kuti tigadzire , kunyanya vaya vane ma farm (On a good week, we rake about $5 000 especially when the big bosses from farms come with their cars for fixing)
Apart from fixing cars, Chokodzo also services farm machinery although he fixes them in six months. This diversity is another revenue stream which brings in more money into his business.
“One thing that should be noted is that cars are not just cars they are also technological beings that are sophisticated in their own ways. Think of the types of engines, cylinder capacities from the primitive v2 to the upgraded v16, from the automatic ones to the manual versions which apparently are losing attention just as the old coal train did when the electric model came,” he said.