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Creating opportunities with #DigitalHustle

by: Morwesi Ndlovu - 1 July 2015

I’m quite a fanatic when it comes to anything that has to do with the digital space because I would like to explore it more than I am right now. Yes, I have my own website and I’m one of the fantastic contributors at the most-read online youth publications in the country (flicks hair).

However, #DigitalHustle opened a brand new world for me. An event hosted by Livity Africa that had a panel discussion based on utilising the digital space. The panelists, being digital hustlers themselves, explained how they are utilising the digital space for financial stability and selling their products.

It was recently held at the Jozi hub in Milpark and I got to understand the type of effort you need to have when consuming the World Wide Web. This was the main topic of the conference. Four panelists working in the online space were invited to talk about their initiatives in order to inspire those that desire to work in the same industry. Here are some highlights from each of the panelists.

“Never compare your beginning with somebody’s ending.”

Sarah Blake who was one of the panelists deliberated on how digital has given her a world she never thought existed. She reckons that digital is a place to figure yourself out and make mistakes. At the end of the day, the space rewards those who are curious. What I took from her talk is that the digital space is super-sized and there are different ways of utilizing it. She created a taxi service called Afro Taxi that’s similar to Uber Taxi service. However, you get to find out the price of the trip before the taxi leaves to your destination and the service operates within the existing taxi industry, which is different from Uber. It’s being introduced mainly in Lagos and it is soon to hit Mzansi.

“Technology… in the mind.”

Rohan Gunatillake from Scotland spent 25 years trying to find new ways of making technology work. He runs a company that has created a well-being app for those wanting to use apps to find their inner peace. It assists you in making health decisions and managing your stress. “Technology in the mind” is what he is interested in, starting to use technology to help us to take care of our mental well-being.

 “Digital allows us to access technology from anywhere.”

Art galleries are the usual suspects, I rarely visit them and when I don’t well – out sight out of mind. Well, Pearl Sokhulu introduced a refreshing concept about what her work is all about. Artify is the name of the App she is developing to bring art to the people. Basically, the aim is to have QR scanners on every art-piece at galleries to allow the consumer to scan and have all the info on the phone about the art. It doesn’t end there, the app allows you to get information about the owners of the art and the price. This app is revolutionary, considering the fact that so many artists create work that is left on the walls of galleries and never revisited.

The digital space has so much influence and we need to consume it appropriately to ensure financial stability and creativity. The panelists were an example of how important it is to grow your brand online. It is known to be a market that doesn’t generate income, however, the panelists that were present at the event were a true example of innovative technological impact and change.

words by Morwesi Ndlovu