The mobile phone’s technical field is completely male dominated with women mainly visible as sales personnel, receptionists and admin assistants, etc.
There is a high demand for expertise in the electronics sector yet not enough women in Zimbabwe have the requisite skills. The lack of such skills in the female population directly impacts on the economy and the advancement of the country.
Sarudzai Kapfumvuti, who is a product of National University of Science and Technology (Nust), is not pleased by the market trend of hiring mainly male technicians.
Kapfumvuti works for GTel in Harare and is one of the few women who have defied the odds and made her mark.
“Generally, organisations tend to hire males as there is a misconception that they are able to repair things better than females but his is not true,” says Kapfumvuti.
Lots of service personnel available are largely male; thanks to rigid cultural norms that puts more faith in male children than females. These deep-rooted cultural convictions make many women reluctant to pick up the screwdriver.
Masvingo province has a population of approximately1.3 million in its seven districts but not even a single woman could be found in the mobile phone repair business.
“You cannot be what you don’t see” probably best explains the absence of women in the field but Kapfumvuti is evidence that women can fix things too.
She encourages more women to take up the trade as there are great opportunities for technicians in the mobile phone industry and other electronics-related sectors.
“High school isn’t an easy place to be but if you get through it, so many wonderful things await beyond that,” says Kapfumvuti.local