In the township of Soshanguve, located just North of Pretoria, there lies a hidden gem of an idea and entrepreneur.
Mpumelelo Mahlangu, a young man is bringing his lockdown inspiration to life. The first-ever entry level South African laptop is the product of the struggles many students faced during Covid-19 lockdown.
For Mpumelelo, the inspiration came about like this:
“My inspiration came when I realised that with schools closing and thinking back to how I struggled to get through varsity without having my own laptop and having to depend on Cafés and computer labs,” relays IOL.
He saw the gap in the market when realising that the school setting wasn’t going to be conventional any time soon, and with education and other means of work being so fruitfully online, people need laptops now more than ever.
It’s no secret of course that most laptops are painfully pricy, and students especially, are not exactly the Bill Gates of wealth. The demand has increased, but unfortunately, so have the prices of such electronics, making for an unfair situation that many South Africans face. Additionally, with more people having access to education, we have to understand that technological advances in society sadly do not consider the underprivileged.
This will be a hallmark business venture, as it is the first laptop to be released by a ” black South African township-based company and entrepreneur” as IOL notes. Mpumelelo could be SA’s Steve Jobs in the making.
Initially a student at Tshawne North and then UNISA, Mpumelelo went on to leave tertiary education to embark on various entrepreneurial pursuits. From his reptile rescue company to the current Dot Connect electronics, he’s a go-getter of note who doesn’t seem to believe in allowing circumstances to dictate his future.
In terms of community empowerment, Mpumelelo also has plans to launch an initiative that will help young people in the township. The empowerment initiative will focus on training them to “diagnose and fix laptops.” (IOL).
Here’s more about the laptop itself as per IOL
- The price of the laptop will be R4 999, which is considerably cheaper than most laptops
- its manufacturing and design headquarters are Soshanguve.
- 64GB storage space,
- 128GB dual hard drive,
- SSD port,
- 14inch Screen,
- 400mah Battery
- and a 6GB RAM
The only issue is that the company is still waiting for licensing. According to IOL, Mpumelelo applied for the paperwork from the Independent Communication Authority of SA, about two months ago.