Meet Geekulcha, a Pretoria-based initiative that is creating a new era of young, gifted and black coders that are solving the world’s problems, one hackathon at a time.
“We provide young talent with a platform to grow their skills through web and mobile apps development, electronics systems, data science and business informatics,” says the organisation’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Tiyani Nghonyama.
Through the initiative, Geekulcha is teaching young people how to code and to use tech to drive innovation in their businesses and communities
Founded in 2014, the initiative is running a number of programmes for everyone from primary school children to entrepreneurs with the intention to drive development and empowerment.
Coding has been identified as one of the most sought-after skills of the 21st century, and through the training, Geekulcha is helping the youth to prepare for a digital future.
One such programme is called Future GeekStars. “The programme was created to equip the geeks of the future, the ones who will drive and live in the digital, smart and growing world. The programme is a skills redistribution school holidays programme where university students impart their skills to youth ranging from the age of 9 to 20 years old,” says Tiyani Nghonyama.
The organisation has also created a female-focused programme. “We established an initiative called Raeketsetsa, which means ‘we are doing it ourselves’ to attract and empower women in the ICT field. The initiative seeks to provide a platform for women to lead the digital revolution,” he adds.
Geekulcha’s great work has not gone unnoticed. In 2016, they won an ICT Achievers Award, an accolade which had them competing with better funded and well-respected initiatives, including Silicon Cape and Johannesburg’s Innovation Hub.
With 3 years of impressive work, what they are most proud of is the work they are doing in rural communities. The organisation is currently running a VacWork programme in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Since their launch, Geekulcha has trained over 6 000 young students and has had 63 students go through their structures as interns at the organisation.