Sweet Medicine takes place in Harare at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic woes in 2008. Tsitsi, a young woman, raised by her strict, devout Catholic mother, believes that hard work, prayer and an education will ensure a prosperous and happy future.
Tsitsi does well at her mission boarding school, and goes on to obtain a scholarship to attend university, but the change in the economic situation in Zimbabwe destroys the old system where hard work and a degree guaranteed a good life.
Out of university, Tsitsi finds herself in a position much lower than she had set her sights on, working as a clerk in the office of the local politician, Zvobgo.
With a salary that barely provides her a means to survive, she finds herself increasingly compromising her Christian values to negotiate ways to get ahead.
Tsitsi and the rest of the nation who now found themselves degreed and broke, her parents and the parents of the nation with degreed children and still broke, had thought-convinced themselves-that the poverty of their lives could be eliminated by 'professionalisation'.