I was once called the Swiss Army Knife in the WordPress Bulawayo WhatsApp group. I knew what a Swiss Army Knife was but I didn’t understand the connection. Mbeke explained to me how I had built up a reputation for knowing things that most people don’t. When people text in the group looking for something, I usually know someone who has it/can get it.

It’s taken me years to build the network I have, to grow the expansive phone book that I have and all of it is now coming full circle to pay out the dividends. Because I put in all that work over the years, I know a lot and this helps me with my current work. Projects are easier for me now. I’ve found smart ways of doing stuff quicker.

That’s why my services cost what they cost.

Have you ever noticed how it’s the people who haven’t paid for a service or have paid for the smallest package who are always making noise? Empty vessels, in this case, wallets, make the loudest noise.

I remember when I worked with some guy on his brand at no charge and he called me ‘condescending.’ On the other hand, my favourite client pays me good money to know all the things that I do. And because he pays me, he needs me to be ‘condescending’ which basically means, ‘I know my shit,’ just from a fragile, toxic masculinity point of view.

Every time I do things for free I get disrespected 7 ways to Sunday. It’s almost like their spirit of poverty is contagious. Like wasting your own time isn’t enough, you must come and disrupt me while I am working. Uyanginyanyisa!

I’m also tempted to say ukuthi that’s also why you can’t afford to pay me because you have a weak work ethic. I can do the damn things but I cannot work miracles. No strategy of mine will save you from being lethargic. Having money to afford me is a good sign. Actually paying me is a better sign. Now you have INVESTED and you will do whatever it takes to get your money’s worth. Abo ‘easy-come-easy-go’ please don’t even look my way. In the same way, some will pay gym fees and end up going just to get their money’s worth, that’s why you must part with money to show you’re serious.

I was about to say it’s the same principle when it comes to lobola but feelings might get hurt.

If you do something that brings in money, you shouldn’t have to do it for free ever! I’m a New Media Trainer, I get paid to do workshops and trainings on that. I get headhunted to do that! It’s one of my income streams. I also offer free guidance on blogging in a couple of WhatsApp groups and my feelings get touched when I prepare a whole lesson, with research and examples and the simple assignments don’t get done. Well Thembi, no one asked you. Yep, I played my damn self.


Ultimately, when you call me to have coffee over what you would like done, that costs US$30 and the lunch is on you. All the artisans who come through to the house have a call-out fee. If you call me out there is a fee. I literally have other things to be doing. Time is a resource I can’t get back. Imagine clearing out an hour of your day to go and meet someone who is just “exploring their options.” Tragic. If your text to me leads with, “Thembi, I have an idea,” I’m sending you an invoice because thinking/strategy is what I do for a living.