28-Year-Old South African Entrepreneur, computer scientist, and software developer, Lesley Ncube has Launched His Own Smartphone
When we think of smartphones, we usually think of big names like Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Sony. In fact, many people won’t be able to name a single mobile phone created and produced in Africa by an African.
However, this narrative is gradually changing and young Africans are the ones taking the lead.
28 years old South African entrepreneur, computer scientist, and software developer, Lesley Ncube launched his own smartphone which he calls Shumi.
Lesley Ncube is the founder of Thatha, a tech company based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
His tech company, Thatha, which means “take” in Zulu, started as an online shop four years ago in South Africa. Lesley had bigger ideas soon after the launch of Thatha, including producing affordable devices for Africans by Africans.
“With Thatha, I decided to go the traditional route by starting with developing hardware, then moving on to software. That’s when we developed the Shumi smartphone. We manufacture all our products from the onset, including the software.
This is also why we decided on a dot za [.co.za] domain so that people know that it was a local product and locally made,” Lesley said in an interview with DRUM.
As a kid, Lesly only had a passion for two things; football and technology. After writing his high school examinations, Lesley had to choose between playing football and technology.
Of course! he chose technology and quit playing football for good. His love for technology and creating tech stacks grew when he came across the story of Bill Gates having learnt how Bill started developing software at a young age – this inspired him to do more not just for himself but for the continent as a whole.
I was 14 when I fell in love with tech. I realised that this is what I should do to work towards making a change, and the impact I want in the tech industry for Africa.
In 2018, Lesley produced his first smartphone under his tech brand, Thatha. The Shumi smartphone is one of the cheapest smartphones out there in the market, It retails for R4000 (US$235). Lesley told news tabloids that his brand has been well appreciated and received by Africans. “There’s support for the brand and what it stands for. I hope we can achieve something as big as Google or Microsoft right here in South Africa.”
The 28 years old said he wanted South Africans and Africans to have access to a high-end experience and great software at affordable prices. Ncube’s success was not easy. He didn’t have any funding for his company or the smartphone he designed, so he had to work and save to make his dream a reality. However, he has had a passion for technology since a young age and knew right away that he wanted to start his own business.
The 28-year-old computer scientist believes technology is the key to the continent’s growing problems and he wants to play a part in the solution. He believes it is time that Africa gets involved in the global technology sector and becomes a critical player amongst the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple.
Source: The African Dream