WATCH: Emkambo: Bulawayo’s jack of all trades market

The Chronicle

Tafadzwa Chibukwa, Chronicle Reporter

EMKAMBO in Makokoba suburb is the go-to place for those seeking a jack of all trades market in Bulawayo.

traditional herbs

Chickens, traditional herbs and medicine, hardware, spares, furniture, work tools, garden tools and even small-scale mining tools are sold there.

The odds and ends market better known as Emkambo by most of Bulawayo residents is located in Makokoba township, opposite Mabusela Flats along Fourth Street.

When one approaches the market’s gate, one is greeted by cheerful and very persuasive people ready to serve them.

Despite the crowds, the place is organised in terms of products being sold, those selling furniture have their own space, tools on another side and herbs at the far end.

In an interview, Mr Sukani Mahlangu who sells wheelbarrows at the market said he is one of the longest serving operators at the market as this year is his 16th.

Mr Mahlamgu, of New Lobengula suburb said the market is providing employment to people and helping breadwinners to put food on the table.

He said he started working at Emkambo in 2006 when there were only a few people operating from there.

“When I started operating here I was selling welding rods and not many people were operating here,” he said.

Mr Mahlangu said he shifted to selling wheelbarrows three years ago after noticing that there was a high demand for the product.

He said he has three children whom he has been able to send to school through his work at Emkambo, including one who recently finished Ordinary Level.

Women are among people selling different wares at the market.


Mrs Nodumezweni Sibanda of Makokoba suburb who sells equipment required by small-scale miners said they faced challenges during the Covid-19 period as the market was closed, but were relieved with the easing of lockdown regulations as they were able to go back to work and provide for their families.

She said they import some parts that make up the tools.

The market has also provided a place for young people to showcase their talents through welding, sculpture and carpentry.

A number of young people could be  spotted busy at the market making different products.

Mr Ronald Dzingai (22) of Makokoba suburb who makes kitchen furniture at the market  said he started working at the market soon after completing his Ordinary Level at the age of 16.

“I have since opened my own shop instead of depending on my parents,” he said.

Mr Dzingai said he prefers the informal sector which he says is more expressive and independent.–@Sagepapie14

Article Source: The Chronicle

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