- Company: Kholofelo Mayoba Designs
- Player: Kholofelo Mayoba
- Est: 2011
- Contact: @KholofeloMayoba
People are so often focused on the day-to-day small stuff that they struggle with thinking in an expansive manner. But to truly thrive, we have to let go of our self-imposed limitations. Kholofelo Moyaba has been doing that since he was a child growing up in Polokwane.
A talented young artist, he designed cards for special occasions and sold them to his peers. A love for technology and electronics – what he calls “giving life to objects” – led him to do a BSc in electrical and computer engineering.
In 2009, he caught the attention of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, which awarded him a fellowship to support him and develop his talents as a young entrepreneur. “My goal is to make a difference to the country socially and economically,” Moyaba says.
Getting commuters to work on time
By 2011, he had turned his talents in computer graphics, design and 3D animation into a business, and was developing his skills in Android apps and mobile development. After meeting with Justin Coetzee, founder of Metro Rail application, GoMetro, he created the Android app that has been used more than
200 000 times in a year by commuters.
“It provides access to information on public transport, which is vital for commuters. One of the biggest reasons for workers being laid off is arriving late, which is often beyond their control because transport schedules are not available. This simple app solves that problem.”
Moyaba sees entrepreneur-led innovation as a powerful force for social change. “To think innovatively, you have to interact with the world around you, spot things that are not as they should be, and make a positive change.
“You have to be open minded and accepting of uncertainty and failure. But in my industry, the possibilities are endless. App stores are waiting for you to develop ideas and make them available, and you don’t need capital to do it. Users will test your product for you.”
Apps for Africa
At 22, Moyaba is an innovation specialist for the South African Reserve Bank in the technology department.
He’s using the experience as an opportunity to learn how a big organisation operates. But he has his eye on Africa, where the number one means of connecting to the rest of the world is the mobile phone, and that’s where he believes the possibilities for innovation are limitless.
“I’m constantly asking myself how we can empower people. Mobile money service M-Pesa is a great example. In areas where people have no access to primary healthcare, and no money for transport, imagine the value of providing medical advice on mobile phones. Ideas are of no service to the world if they do not add value to people’s lives.”
The innovator’s checklist
- Interact with the world around you
- Spot things that aren’t as they should be
- Make a positive change.