Top 7 Of The Worst Jobs In Africa

There are good jobs and there are worst jobs below are the 7 of the worst jobs you can find in Africa.

1. Zama Zamas

zama zama worst job in africa
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Zama zamas are illegal miners that are found mostly in South Africa. This zama zamas swarm the disused gold mines of south Africa everyday where they scrawl down moist and abandoned mines of clay and rock the size of a small coffin with only a torch attached to their head, a chisel and a mallet, which they use in chipping at the rock in their search for gold. Not only is this job worst, it is also dangerous as sometimes this illegal miners are killed by rockfalls or murdered by rival criminal syndicates.

2. Soakaway cleaners

soakaway cleaner worst job

To me soak away cleaners are the people with the worst job in the world. After a soak away has been emptied, soak away cleaners are the last to go in, their job entails them to climb down the soak-away using a ladder and clear the left over faecal matter using a bucket. This people Deal with filth, hazardous things and diseases all day and they are often paid meager sums of money.

3. Bus Conductor

bus conductor worst job in africa

Predominant mostly in Western-Africa, the job of a bus conductor is life threatening and tiresome, this people spend virtually their entire day putting their life at risk by hanging half-outside a speeding bus while shouting out bus stop names and also keeping an eye out for passengers.
The job is a very tough job and not for the weak hearted as both verbal and physical attacks by angry fee dodgers/touts, police, etc are what these guys have to deal with on a daily basis.

4. Gutter cleaner

gutter cleaner worst job in africa

Gutter or drainage cleaning in a typical street in Africa involves the removal of debris from drainages – failure to do this results to the streets flooding whenever there’s a downpour – this is done mostly before rainy season so as to allow the free passage of rain water in the drainages. The guys that are usually employed to do this task, go into the gutters sometimes with nothing but a shovel and a rake. The rake for removing debris and the shovel for dredging the gutter to make it deeper.
The weird thing about gutter cleaners is that they seldom fall sick.

5. Meruwa / Water Vendor

Photographer: Biodun Ogunleye

Found mostly in Nigeria, this in my opinion is the most exerting job ever.
This people, MERUWA as they are popular called all over Nigeria, spend almost their entire day pushing trucks filled with 10 gallons – 25 litres each – of water around selling them one gallon at a time at a price far less than a dollar to interested buyers. When they sell all of them they go back for a refill. And the struggle they say again continues.
Unruly touts, dust, cold and the permeating hot African sun, are among the things they face on a daily basis.

6. Traffic Police

traffic warder worst job in africa

Another crappy job in Africa is that of a traffic police. This people spend almost their entire day directing and controlling the flow of traffic especially at an intersection. Speeding buses, unruly people, dust, traffic violators, cold and the permeating hot African sun, are among the things they face on a daily basis in their bid to ensure safety on our roads. And for what, a meager salary.

7. Scavengers

wastey picker worst job

Scavengers or waste pickers are people who salvages reusable or recyclable materials thrown away by others to sell or for personal consumption. There are millions of waste pickers in Africa most of them underaged kids. This people comb the streets and dumps for items such as plastics, aluminium, iron, and basically any valuable they can find. which they use or resell. Not only is this job sad, it is also very dangerous as sometimes most scavengers in an attempt to get the good stuff, visit neighbourhood dumps to scavenge for objects and sometimes they end up stepping on sharp objects like broken glasses or nails.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


  1. I own and operate a gutter cleaning service in Atlanta. I agree it is a grimy job. The weather can be extremely hot or cold. The stuff that comes out of the gutters is gross. The ground cleanup and customer service can be challenging. BUT, it is a very rewarding job. The pay is outstanding. The routine customers start adding up and before you know it, you have a thriving business. I believe that whatever you do in life , if you do it to the best of your ability, can be very rewarding. You can yelp the name of our company, Affordable Gutter Cleaning Service in Atlanta, GA. and see our 5 star reviews. Also Google it and we our 5 star rated. I have the greatest job in the world I always tell my customers. I get to climb a ladder and play in dirt.


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