Points to take note of when tranferring money home!

Many countries require money transfer companies to be licensed by the country’s banking regulator. Most countries that require licensing also require bonding and insurance to recover lost funds if the company fails.  One way to protect yourself from fraud is to make sure you are using a licensed money transfer company.It is illegal to operate a money transfer business without a licence.Money transmitters operate through agents such as travel agencies and multi service stores that many people use to send money.Agents are not licensed but they must have a contract with a licensed transmitter.Agents must post signs in English and other predominent languages spoken by customers with the name,address and telephone number of both the agent and the licensed transmitter.Its also important having a record of the transaction e.g a receipt,e-mail or sms notification to trace your payment and resolve any disputes if they ever arise.

It is important to note and ask the following:

  • Unfavourable exchange rates add to the cost of sending money Ask how the exchange rate is calculated,and how much money will actually be paid to the recipient
  • Find out whether the recipient will be charged any fees when they pick up the money.
  • Some banks offer low cost transfers to certain countries.Make sure to ask if you must keep a minimum balance in your bank account,if the recipient needs to have an account,how the exchange rate is calculated and what fees may be charged to you or the recipient.
  • You have the right to transfer money in U.S dollars unless the receiving country requires money to be converted to the local currency
  • Be careful with money transfers offered through pre-paid debit cards.These cards often carry high and hidden fees.

It is always important to ask all the relevant questions when sending money back home as this ensures that you get the best deal possible and this guarantees that  your recipient can get the most out of what you send.

The media and democracy in Zimbabwe

Diversity of supply, freedom of speech and Equal claim to hear and be heard; these are some of the most basic provisions that any democratic country should make to ensure a democratic environment.

Zimbabwe had clearly taken a step back when it came to these very pertinent issues, what, with the implementation of the controversial Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which was passed in 2002, the media had come under close scrutiny by the government.

May the 26th did however see the country offer two commercial licences in a bid to end decades of state domination of the airwaves. An advert in the state controlled Herald newspaper said that “the license would run for 10 years and stations would be required to pay $15,000 annually plus 1% of their gross yearly turnover.

Reforming the media, although – a contentious issue within the power-sharing government is a milestone in the country’s recovery…

Stigma on HIV decreasing

Back in the day, when HIV and AIDS education was still new, the way it was advertised on television in Zimbabwe, in some other parts of the world actually instilled a perception in viewers that some one with the virus was part of what other people would call “the walking dead”.

Some people were actually afraid of talking to someone who had the disease, with fear of contracting it through socializing. On TV and other media they portrayed the infected as someone who was thin, with curly hair and rough skin. If some one was coughing for a long period of time, they were also suspected of harboring the virus. Although, that used to be the reality “sort of”, with the introduction of anti- retro virals, those symptoms were no longer as obvious.

There was then the “Diaspora myth” that people who went to other countries would be busy gallivanting, or if female,  they were said to be selling their bodies to make a living in South Africa and England, only to return home sick , after contracting the disease from enjoying life in the lime light, without thinking about tomorrow.

It was not until most people got infected, that a lot more were affected by the disease. The disease has torn families apart and left thousands of children to be  orphans. Mostly people who have been affected, such as the relatives of the infected, have grown to understand the disease, and ways of dealing with it, and people who are infected are no longer being avoided as if they have leprosy.

People understand that it could happen to anyone, and the moment it attacks one of your family members, you would understand how unfair it is for people to judge an infected person, no matter how they contracted the disease.

Today, we can thank education for enlightening people about the condition, as well as ARV’s for making the lives of infected people more bearable. Thanks to the New Start center in Zimbabwe, and other organisations which were advocating for HIV awareness, the past decade has seen a rise in the number of people making public announcements about their HIV status. People are now acknowledging that having the disease is just that, being infected by the disease, it does not define someone’s identity and it does not determine how one lives their life.

How to handle shyness in children

Some of us shy away when it comes to parties, hanging around new people, or stage fright in general. Although some may think that it is “cute”, it may not be the best character a child has, and this could actually affect their up bringing and experiences, as other people may take advantage of that. Confidence in general is deemed by most academics as an essential ingredient for success. Grooming a person to be a self confident adult actually stems from their childhood.

The following 10 steps are necessary for dealing with a child’s shyness:

1) Empathize

Acknowledging how they feel without criticism builds confidence.

2) Refrain

Calling a child shy would encourage them to define themselves as such. Rather tell them and other people that they are ” a bit reserved at first but will soon warm up”


Expose them early to loving others from relatives to baby sitters, so that they can learn to trust them.


Encouraging and supportive parenting allows a child to do things on their own without constantly correcting them  would build self esteem, as opposed to controlled parenting.

5) Model

As parents we need to become good role models for our children. We need to teach them how to smile readily, make eye contact, paying compliments and chatting casually with anyone, even car guards, to teach your child to have a relaxed attitude to social interactions and teaches them social interactions.

6) Facilitate

Create opportunities for your child to socialize safely, stretching them slowly, from having one child over to play a few times, to having them visit that child.

7) Role play

Check where your child is struggling and act it out with them in the form of a role play.

8) Respect

Do not ask a child on the spot to do something they are not comfortable with. Rather ask them in advance, and if they decline, accept it.

9) Applaud

Praise every attempt they make to socialize on their own. Also teach them that failure is okay, as it provides the feedback they need to grow.

10) Step Back

Whatever you do, do not constantly speak for your child. If some one addresses them, allow them to speak for themselves. Otherwise, if they are shy and you constantly do that, you would be signalling that you do not have confidence in them  and this would keep them from developing them communication skills you want them to have.

Is a good education directly in proportion to income?

In the past a goad education used to guarantee the best lifestyle for young adults, but that was before financial education came to the scenes and the upsurge in entrepreneurs over the past few years.

The careers which are considered to be higher paying no matter what economic climate still seem to remain to be the medical field, accounting, lawyers and managerial jobs. Most of the higher end income jobs are more specialized like research and technology, but in most cases, a general degree in Arts, can almost be outweighed any day by a diploma in entrepreneurship or business studies.

Other paying careers are where one is not so much into  reading books, but into physical activities such as sports, music and drama or acting. Although most parents would think that extra curricular activities are a waste of time other than for their health and fitness benefit, your child can actually mold his her career from an early age. Most celebrity athletes do not have an academic qualification, but a passion for what they do.

It boils down to one thing. As a parent, what talents and interest does your child seem to have that can equip him or her for success in the future? Once you have figured that out, it is imperative to focus all your energy into supporting your child’s desires as they grow up.

Technology and wealth accumulation

The internet and technology in general is changing the speed at which wealth is accumulated today. Millionaires are being made more often and more rapidly than in the olden days.  Gone is the industrial age where giant factory owners were the only bourgeois class, usually with the wealth having been accumulated over a long period of time, from generation to generation.

Nowadays, the term “rags to riches” is even more popular as the number of self made millionaires around the world is not only increasing, but getting younger as well. Most young Millionaires in the UK however have their millions handed down from their parents, or grandparents in a hedge fund. Those who started with nothing, actually got the bulk of their wealth in their acting or music careers, the likes of Adele, Kiera Knightley, or Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson who starred in Harry Porter.

Gone are the days when computer whiz kids were looked down upon as geeks or nerds, as they are the ones making headlines as the young self made entrepreneur millionaires. 10 years ago who would have thought the geek Mark Zuckerburg, would create something that is touching peoples’ lives all around the world, i.e. Facebook. Today a kid can literally create an app and sell it for millions in a few months, such as our own self-made millionaire Nick D’Aloisio (17) who is one of the youngest self-made millionaires ever after selling his app Summly to Yahoo for £15 million.

To sum it all up, with the rapid increase in knowledge and information one would be certain we are living in the “end days”. Technology is making more people rich faster and younger than ever in history.

Collecting Money in Zimbabwe

When your loved ones send money back to Zimbabwe for collection, location and convenience prevails as some of the most important factors for those back in Zim. Knowing what branches are closest for cash collection saves time and money. The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) and Central African Building Society (CABS) are popular money collection sites. When using CBZ for money collection you might interested to know that CBZ has opened a new branch in Harare Borrowdale is not open and ready for cash collection! Now all of you Norther Suburbanites who don’t want to make the trek can collect US Dollars or ZAR from CBZ in Borrowdale, according to Mukuru.com.

Mukuru also offers cash collection in Zimbabwe in several CBZ locations in addition to Borrowdale. You can send money to Zimbabwe and have it collected with an SMS voucher throughout Harare in Angwa, Herbert Chitepo, Westgate, Bulawayo, Karoi, Kwekwe, Marondera, Masvingo, and Mutare. Amazing.

Check out the CABS Mukuru branches as well for money collection and find the closest place for cash collection in Zimbabwe.

Why most of our friends and peers in Zimbabwe are buying/ owning cars

Ford-Cars-40Nowadays, some Zimbabweans are travelling to the UK not to study or to make a living, but just for the sake of buying the cars from the UK.Well it is not really that they are buying the extremely expensive top of the range, but the second hand cars, which would still pass for “brand new” in Zimbabwe. This is a growing trend and as long as one has connections it seems to be a good business venture.

To understand why this is happening, one needs to understand, how the car selling industry has evolved in general.

When there was dollarization and some economic turnovers, the hustlers kept on hustling for some time, while others resorted to starting small business ventures. The most common of these were poultry farming, Cd writing AKA piracy as well as  cross border trading, especially for clothes which would be bought in South Africa and resold in Zimbabwe. Others switched from trading foreign currency, gold/ diamonds and other shady deals on the black market to buying cars at the Zimbabwean-South African border  and reselling around Zimbabwe, but mostly in the capital Harare.

The cars which were bought at the border were sold at auction prices, as the owners would have failed to pay the duty after a certain time period. Other car traders saw an opportunity by getting as close to the source as possible, hence they went to buy in Durban. This had problems, as there still was not much variety for cars, as you would just buy what ever is unloaded off tanker ships. The variety and quality was much better than buying at the border though. Others then discovered there was an easier option: just buy the exact car you want on-line ordering from Japan, pay for shipping and insurance, and then go collect at the border.

The reason why a lot of people have Japanese cars, is because that is the cheaper option for better quality.

Now the reason for having to collect at the border still remained that Japanese cars are not allowed on South African roads. In South Africa, there are strict policies about this because the vehicle manufacturing companies would be threatened as they sell cars at expensive cash prices, worst for contracts, hence the government had to put a ban on the types of vehicle being sold locally because the Japanese were manufacturing better quality cars at cheaper prices. That being put in place if someone buys a car from Japanese car dealers like Be forward.com, the cars are not allowed on south African roads. They would have to be shipped to the Zimbabwean border. Otherwise the Zimbos who have japans cars in South Africa are not registered in the system, and can thus get away with fines. But they have to go back to Zimbabwe or to the border at least every 6 months for renewing their license, which is actually a pain in itself, not too mention the lack of car spares in the country.

Then enter London cars. Not only are they of better quality, being lesser used second hands, but they actually have more variety rather than Japanese cars, plus they are the cheapest in the market. The majority of the cost of buying these cars are the shipping costs to Zimbabwe. Hence someone who does this trade needs to have a lot of contacts or be able to thrive. audi-cars

Changes in times


We as mankind have come a long way, from the hunter gatherer times, where individuals, and mostly groups used to hunt wild animals and gather fruits, to a point where people can  now create value from the comforts of their own homes via the internet. Gone are the days when greatness was mostly passed on from generation to generation, nowadays more people are achieving it rather than being born great or having it thrust upon them.

No one had any idea what was about to happen when the nomads or pasturalists began to observe a plant germinating at a spot where someone once dropped a seed. This began the end of the hunter gatherer era and sparked what became known as the agricultural revolution as people began rearing animals and growing crops in order for survival. Subsistence farming resulted in a sense of food security, and those who were gifted with creative skills became craftsmen, creating their own jobs as iron smiths, gold panners etc. Barter trade was then introduced as people realised specialisation resulted in more production and better quality products. People could now specialise in a particular trade and produce whatever they needed efficiently, so that they would  trade with someone else who also specialised in what they wanted  but did not have. Some people became so good in their trade that they produced more of their better quality products, and hence surplus was created.  Having more than one needed  resulted in people wanting to store their durable possessions, and some people became wealthy as they had more of their stored products or value than others. The wealthy had to find a way of storing this surplus value, and in later years, the value was stored as gold.

With surplus production,  there was an increased demand of machinery or tools which increased production or improved the efficiency with which goods were produced. This led to the industrial age and the concept of people going to work, specialising in a particular field to increase production and surplus for what became known as  the bourgeoisie class. According to Karl Marx the bourgeoisie class was the class of the capitalistic society consisting of manufacturers, bankers and other employers. They owned the most important means of production through which it exploited the working class. In Marx’s social theory, there were three distinct classes: the poor, middle class and the rich or bourgeoisie.

Now to fast forward in time, we are in the age where the industrial age is slowly being taken over by the information age. A large brick and mortar business is being out-competed by an individual on a computer, and this is a different playing field altogether. Businesses are no longer competing against their direct competition as in the past, but rather competing globally. A business in South Africa is now competing with a business in China or USA. At the same time the customer base has also increased, resulting in the same particular business being able to sell its products or services to someone in a in UK, or Australia.

Customer Service excellence: Part 4

competitive-advantageIt is so often that customer service representatives are challenged by their emotions, trying to keep a coll head while na customer is bursting on the other side, furious at the company because it did not deliver on what it promised.

In this post I am going to be talking about how to deal with irate customers if ever you8 are put under that situation.

1. Listen

The last thing you want to do is to  interrupt an angry customer. Doing so would only make a terrible situation even worst. The best thing to do when a custo9mer is complaining is to shut up and listen. Do not interrupt the customer. let him or her vent. Only after the customer has expressed his or her emotions can you now respond. You would also need to bear in mind that the customer is not complaining to you personally but at the company you work for.


Then next thing to do is to apologize. It does not matter if the customer was the one in the wrong (Customer is king remember) you would need to apologize.  It does not matter if it was another employee who wronged the customer and not you personally since the customer is complaining to the company as a while. It does not matter if it is different department or different supplying company that wronged the customer. The fact that the customer bought that product from your shop or business makes your company liable for an apology. even if you work for an electronics company and a customer complained about the Samsung TV which they bought which is not showing any pictures, you should not ignore jsut because you know that the problem is from  Samsung and not your shop.


customer care logo_High Res3. Empathize

Put your self in the customers shoes. Tell them that you have been in that situation before and how nhow it feeels. If a custoemr has had a bad experience, you need to put yourself intheir shoes, and talk to them like a humb\an being. If they mention that there has been  a death in the family you shoudkd offer your condolenses.

4. Offer a solution

After following the above, the next thing to do is find common ground for your business and the customer.  The most common solutions are as follows:

a) Refund. Most companies would give you a refund if you request it, unlewss there is a sign specifically sayimng that no refunds are to be given out.

b) Fixing. If it is a minor problem, you can fix it, most customers would not mind.

c) Money off next purchase. You can try giving the cusomter a voucher or discoun t on the next purchase as compensation  for  the inconvinience caused.

d) Replacement. If the above does not work you can always try replacing the product, this should not be too much of a loss on your side, as the business would be able to retain the customer

A customer complaining should actually be an opportunity for a company to build trust and loyalty with that customer. Just like when a bone breaks and heals, it would be stronger where the bone had been broken before.