This paper examines how work and the labor in agriculture in rural sub-Saharan Africa is measured. Section 1 presents a historical example of colonial discourses of the "lazy" African (the Lamba in Zambia). Section 2 analyzes a study carried out in rural Zambia to illustrate the relationship between stereotypes held by many Europeans, particular aspects of the colonial project, and the social relations brought about by colonialism. Section 3 examines the ways in which present work and labor approaches in sub-Saharan Africa embody value judgements which leads to distorted documentation of the division of labor between opposite genders. Sections 4 through 7 look at a time-use study conducted in Zambia and argue that studies of such nature create value judgement on what comprises work, and about how researchers and planners classify this. Overall, this article has demonstrated that time-use surveys may provide inadequate understanding of women and men's work in the absence of an understanding of the local context in which the work is undertaken, and of labor markets.