Meet Mthulisi the Electrician

What is your job title?


Where do you work?

I work for Coal of Africa, a coal mining company based in South Africa

What does your firm do? 

It mines bituminous coal for Eskom and Export

Tell us a little about your career history? 

After passing my O’levels averagely in 2000, I stayed at home the whole of 2001. I then did my A’levels   at Hwange High School from 2002-2003.I did not acquire enough points to qualify for University. I then applied for apprenticeship training at Delta Beverages. I started my apprenticeship at Delta Beverages in 2004. I then transferred to Hwange Colliery during my third year in 2007. Upon completion of my training in 2008 I worked for Hwange Colliery for year before moving to South Africa. I was employed as an electrician at Kangra Coal. I worked there for one and half years before joining my current company.

Was this always your dream job?

Honestly I never had a dream career but I remember there was a time I was fascinated by Law. In the end I just took a career that was available to me.

How closely does your academic education fit in with your job?  

Almost everything I do is linked to my academic education. For example changing a light involves some academic education. You have to know which to breaker to isolate and the types of light bulbs available for use. So basically I use my academic education in everything I do but I am not saying I use all the academic knowledge I have. Some of the knowledge will only become useful if I rise up the career ladder.

What qualifications do you possess? 

I have a national certificate in electrical engineering from Mutare Polytechnic College a trade test certificate from Ministry of Manpower Development.

In short what educational part got where you are, could you have made the path shorter?

There two ways to become an electrician in Zimbabwe. The first path is to apply for apprenticeship. If you   get apprenticeship training, you will get on job training whilst working for that company. The company will send you to college for your national certificate. The company will be paying you an allowance whilst you train. The other way is to go polytechnic college and do your national certificate after which you apply for attachment at companies to get on job training. You then get trade tested for you to qualify as an electrician. My path could have been shorter if had applied for apprenticeship training soon after completing my O’levels.

What tasks do you do regularly in your profession?

Generally, its maintenance and repair of electrical equipment.

What is that excites you most when doing your job?

What I like most about my job is that it’s not that physical like other trades. I use more of mental power than physical power

What tasks do you find boring in your daily tasks? 

My tasks are not routine. Each day brings new breakdowns but I hate anything to do with house wiring (fixing of geysers, changing light bulbs etc.). These tasks are not mentally challenging.

Any advice to those studying or aiming at this career?

Being a electrician is a risky job. You have to take your training seriously. The College stuff is very demanding too, you have to be comfortable with Math because electrical engineering theory involves a lot of calculations.