Forbes listed Liswati rejected by own country
PHIWA Nkambule, the first Liswati to make it into Forbes list, was rejected by his own country before he crossed the borders to neighbouring South Africa.
Nkambule was first rejected by Manzini Library, where he had gone to present a proposal for an idea of an online library system. He was later rejected by the Manzini branch of the Regional Education Office (REO), which also did not give a response to him.
In 2013, he approached Manzini Library to propose a digital library system and he never got a response.
He also proposed an online examination system to the Manzini Regional Education Office (REO). He also never got a response. These two occasions made him realise that young Emaswati innovators could not be taken seriously because the country did not have a success story. “I decided to be that story to be a reference and open up doors for other innovators,” he said.
The technologist then went to South Africa to make use of his technological skills. Nkambule opened a company called Cybatar, a software development house now based in Kenya.
He founded this company in 2014. He then launched a tuition fee crowd funding platform through the Cybatar during the first #fees must fall protest in 2015.
The second company he founded was the Financial Technology (FinTech) known as Riovic, which is backed by Rand Merchant Bank’s Alpha Code. This company was founded in 2015 and it has been making waves in the insurance industry.
The Sandton-based technologist now wants to bring all the skills, which earned him a place in the Forbes list, to the country. “I have plans to come and establish a technology company, with the goal of enabling a digital economy since there is no underlying infrastructure that allows Emaswati businesses to trade online,” Nkambule said.
He revealed this yesterday, a few days after he was announced as the ninth person in the list of 30 young Africans to make it to the Forbes Under 30 list. He said he had planned to launch his technology business here in Eswatini this month.
Nkambule mentioned that he planned to start a small business that would employ at least 10 people. “I want to start with a small team of developers and marketers of just 10 in the first year of starting up. I will then scale up as the business grows,” he said. He said he had been bringing together a team and would spend most of the month of June establishing the business on the ground.
He said he did not think he would have difficulty starting a business in the country because he had already made a name for himself. For him, it did not make sense not to do anything in this country yet there was so much opportunity.