Engineering responses to local problems

Leroy Dzenga Features Writer
After enrolling to study for a degree in Computer Science and Information Systems with a local college, Elvis Timbai felt that he was pursuing a path that did not fulfil his innermost vision. In him, the 29-year-old carried enthusiasm for engineering and innovative ideas with potential to solve problems.

In his continued interest in science and his formal job which included workshop operations, he decided to put his spare time to good use.

“I am a self-taught innovator who did not receive any formal training in engineering. I learnt through reading and practising although I sharpened my skills through understudying experts.
He studied mechanical machines which were aimed at answering the nation’s questions.

“I manufacture electrical water pumps especially booster pumps and submersible pumps which have a huge market in Zimbabwe. I am also working on water sprinklers, and borehole drillers although I am still operating on a small scale from our house in Kambuzuma,” Timbai said.

Now that the demand for his products has grown, he is working towards increasing his staff, workplace as well as regularising his business.

“We are in the process of finalising negotiations which will see us move into a bigger workshop in the Highglen industrial area in July. Currently, I work with three people, but once we move into a bigger place I will need about ten people to help with work at the factory,” he said.

He added; “The Zimbabwe Youth Council is helping me to put my papers in order so that we become a registered company and I believe by August, everything would be in order,” the young entrepreneur said.

On a day he can make three water pumps, but usually works upon order to conserve his resources. The new dispensation has brought hope for young entrepreneurs and the engineering protégé is no exception.

“I am expecting my operations to grow since the business environment seems to be opening up in Zimbabwe. Having the prerequisite equipment, I am expecting to meet the high demand which will result from the efforts of the new dispensation,” he said.

His long-term dream is to minimise the number of imported machinery into Zimbabwe.
“We have all the raw materials in Zimbabwe and if we channel resources to the manufacturers who need them, we can become a self-sustaining economy. People need to support local brands more and trust them. The perception of poor quality is usually misplaced,” said Timbai.

He also hopes Government will start commissioning local firms to manufacture machinery for their institutions.
Timbai’s water pumps are relatively cheaper than imported ones and are made according to client specifications, which has translated into brisk business for him.

For a person driven by passion, it will not be long before his vision pays off if he continues on his current path.


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