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Men at Work in Zimbabwe

Near Victoria Falls, 1994

Near Victoria Falls, VII.1994
Masvingo, 24.VI.2017; pict. J. Breine
Masvingo, 24.VI.2017; pict. J. Breine

Our first find from 1994 shows a sign which is a copy of the old South-African men at work sign. The blade of the spade is partly visible and the man is not wearing Wellingtons — which he would do if the sign was sourced from Great Britain.

Notice the text in the background. It says Caution - Road WORKMEN ahead. Most countries only warn for road WORK ahead (e.g. Australia, South-Africa). It must be that Zimbabwe cares for its people, at least those working on the road. So does Fiji.

Our more recent finds show a very different situation. The man is now carrying a spadeful of earth and the sign in the middle is — knowing that men at work always turn their back to the trafic — suggesting that Zimbabwe drives at the right hand side of the road.

The design brings the warning signs from Ethiopia to the mind and may be related to one find of Tanzania where the shovel hovers above a heap. As a rule however, this drawing is typically found in Latin-American countries (e.g. Peru, Mexico).

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More road signs from Zimbabwe: Children's Crossing Signs - Falling Rock Signs