An Unlikely Entrepreneur
Step into the bustling, energetic world of Khumbulane Phakathi, a 20-year-old student from the vibrant heart of Soweto. In an unusual twist of innovation and entrepreneurship, this University of Mpumalanga scholar is revolutionizing the tech industry, one cellphone repair at a time.
Riding the Wave of Digitalization
In an era where smartphones are almost an extra limb, Phakathi’s unique venture stands out. A beneficiary of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa’s (NEMISA) Cell Phone Repairs Training Programme, Phakathi has managed to turn this skill into a thriving business while studying for a Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Sciences.
NEMISA, deriving its mandate from the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, is a beacon for equipping South African youth with much-needed digital skills. Their mission? To foster a digitally inclusive society.
Turning Skill into Enterprise
The comprehensive program offered by NEMISA not only honed Phakathi’s technical skills but also equipped him with invaluable business acumen. From diagnosing and fixing damaged cellphone parts to navigating the nuances of business management, Phakathi has been able to turn his know-how into a profitable venture: KTEC CONNECT Pty Ltd.
This ambitious student didn’t just gain a skill – he saw an opportunity and leapt at it. He expressed his gratitude by saying, “I am now able to generate income to sustain a living with the money I make from fixing cell phones.”
NEMISA’s National CoLab Director, Rorisang Molukanele, believes Phakathi’s success is just one of many to come. “For South Africa to improve its standing in the digital economy, citizens must acquire the digital skills they need to fully participate in it,” said Molukanele.
Their initiative isn’t just about teaching technical skills; it’s about addressing a crucial societal gap. It’s about equipping the youth to be successful, self-sufficient entrepreneurs in an increasingly digital world.
Forging Ahead with Digital and Technical Skills
The programme seeks to create a legion of qualified cellphone repairers, with knowledge in business development and the capability to kickstart their businesses. It’s part of the broader National Digital and Future Skills strategy, aiming to upskill South Africans with digital and technical skills.
“The training prepares learners to operate as qualified cellphone repairers, troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining various types of cellphone models in both rural and urban areas,” explained Siphe Macanda, a Communications Officer for NEMISA.
Phakathi’s Unwavering Success
Phakathi is more than a student, more than an entrepreneur. He’s a testament to the innovative spirit brewing in South Africa, a shining example of what can be achieved with ambition, skill, and a little bit of technical know-how. His story – or rather, his unstoppable progression – serves as a beacon of hope, showing us that success can indeed be crafted from the most unexpected of places. Remember the name Khumbulane Phakathi because this tech-savvy, Soweto-born entrepreneur is just getting started!
About The Author:
Lunga Dlamini is a journalist specializing in African start-ups and entrepreneurship. Lunga’s fascination with innovative business models and emerging market trends guides his writing. He has an MBA and has been with Africa Nova since its inception.