& the birth of Nubian Smarts, the ups, the downs and the curveballs …
As we get ready to bid farewell to 2017 , its important for us to look back at the past year and celebrate all the good , the bad and the extremely phenomenal moments that made up our 2017. Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing my 2017 experiences , from being selected to be part of the Tony Elumelu Foundation 1000 African Entrepreneurs , to making it onto the Google Developers Launchpad . How could I forget the top 20 of the Cell C Hangman Reality show or even exhibiting at the Innovation Summit.
Had someone told me a year ago that I would have gone through so much in my quest of sharing my passion with the world, I would not have believed them. I would have laughed hysterically and said “Oh, Vuyo, such a big dreamer!” (Explaining this would take too long so I suggest you Google it ), but somehow I find myself sitting here on a Saturday night surrounded by the most inspirational children of the African soil, I find myself sitting here wondering if I have been magically exported into my “Utopia” , my land of milk and honey. Yes friends I am here seeing glimpses of the future and I must say it looks good. You are probably thinking that I have lost all my marbles , but No that is not the case.
Friends allow me to share my dream with you. Allow me to share my world with you thereby giving you an opportunity to see what I am seeing.
I have a dream, it might not be the same as that of the Great Dr. Martin Luther King but its a dream none the less. My dream is that one day Africa will produce innovative entrepreneurs that are solving complex African problems using technology. I dream of a time when the African child is empowered enough to trust in that they too are capable of driving change in the communities that they live in .
So on the first weekend of December 2017 , exactly 30 days away from the 1st day of 2018 I was given a chance to give back to my community in the most rewarding way. Although can I just say if this is what it means to be giving back then sign me up over and over again because I received way more than I gave … so in fact we could call this my “receiving back”.
I was selected to be one of the mentors for NKA’THUTO edu propeller ENTREPRENEURSHIP WORKSHOP.
Coming here I knew without a shadow of doubt that this would be an opportunity for me to learn more about business, but boy oh boy did I get it wrong. I was not prepared for what awaited me in the quaint picturesque hotel just a mere 45 minute drive from my home.
Driving to the hotel all I knew was that I was about to meet an exceptional group of students , I knew that referring to them as clever would not be incorrect.
There group that I met was beyond amazing , beyond intelligent , saying they are inspirational does not seem to capture how amazing these learners are. They are in grade 8 – 11 (ages 14 – 17) so very young by all accounts. They had managed to come up with impressive innovative technological solutions to problems that exist in their communities. I was tasked with the small task of helping them convert the business ideas into actual businesses.
I could go on for days talking about how amazing these learners are but thats not the point, the point is for me to share that the future is possible and it is here. The future where African children are coming up with solutions to their own problems is here and we as Nubian Smarts are more than ready to empower our young kids.
2017 has been an amazing year and am glad to say its only the beginning. Keep your eyes peeled for more on my rendition of the events from 2017.