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WhatsApp Installation Provides Lifeline to Unemployed Youths

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By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

HARARE- ‘Enterprising’ unemployed youths in Zimbabwe   are   living off installing WhatsApp  on people’s mobile phones for a fee.

AtHarare’s   busy streets and  bus termini  hordes of young people with placards inscribed ‘WhatsApp  Settings or Installation’  and shouting  to lure customers .

Takunda Musora , a university graduate ,  who sells second hand smart-phones  at Copacabana bus terminus  said he has been in this business for close to 3 years  after failing to get formal employment .

“I have been installing ‘WhatsApp’ on people’s phones since the time I graduated from   university  and couldn’t get formal employment,” said Musora who  holds an Engineering degree.

According to Musora, after realising that apart from purchasing smart-phones most customers would get challenges in  installing  WhatsApp which most people want to use for ease of communication, he then  found an extra services in  installing the application for a nominal fee ranging from a dollar to $3 depending on the type of the smart-phone.

“Most people after  buying a smart-phone they would come a day or so after saying they needed the WhatsApp application   so  I then decided to install for them  for a fee which range from a dollar to 3 dollars but it depends on how sophisticated one’s phone is because some use   Android  or  Windows Microsoft software,” he added.

In First Street, there are also a number of   smart-phone vendors who also confirmed that they are  providing for their families  from what they term ‘technophobia’ (lack of technology expertise).

“What I have found is that most of our clients are people who are elderly and those from rural areas who don’t know that the application can be downloaded for free using the internet so we are cashing in on their lack of knowledge,” revealed one    female  vendor who requested anonymity.

But Silas Chisango said while the elderly and the rural folk especially tobacco farmers constitutes most of their customers, there is also a considerable number  of young urban folk who also come to update their WhatsApp applications.

“We do not only make money from  the older generation and people from rural areas but a number of young people still don’t know how to update their WhatsApp  application,” cited Chisango.

At most shopping centres in high density areas internet cafes  have also incorporated WhatsApp installation and settings   as an additional service .

‘Trinity internet cafe’   at  Zimunhu Shopping Centre in Epworth  is a hive of activity during the weekends  with young people  with smart-phones coming to install and update  WhatsApp.

“Most weekends we have a busy day as most young people would want to keep abreast with soccer and entertainment news so  they will be in need of WhatsApp while others would seek to update  the application,” confirmed Takudzwa Saidi who operates the cafe.

To validate that WhatsApp is the most popular social media platform, the country’s telecommunications regulator, POTRAZ, in its  2017 report said WhatsApp accounts for 44 percent of all the mobile internet traffic in Zimbabwe while Facebook accounts for 1,8 percent.

 

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