ENTREPRENEUR(S) OF THE MONTH: SABELO SIBANDA AND THULISILE VOLWANA

This month, the world has its first solar powered tablet! This is thanks to Sabelo Sibanda and Thulisile Volwana who have worked tirelessly on the product thus making them our entrepreneurs of the month. Africa is infamous for the endless power cuts that still hold the continent ransom, screeching work to a halt, hopefully with the Vuya tablet this will all change.  The innovative tablet got its name from the isiXhosa word “Vuys” which literally means “be happy.”

Not only is this product environmentally friendly and efficient it is cost effective as well. Sibanda aged 30 and Volwana aged 22 designed the tablet with the student on a modest budget in mind. Their intention was that it had to look stylish while at the same time be rugged enough to sustain the up-and-downs of student living. Although the product’s core pieces are being manufactured abroad the tablet costs an affordable $140. In addition to this the tablet runs on the latest Android operating systems which makes it easy to use and provides a platform to a whole world of android apps. Some of its other features include a 1.2 GH processor, 512MB RAM, and 4GB ROM.

Millbug the company that was started by Sibanda and Volwana was founded in 2012 where their main focus was eCommerce specifically selling women’s clothing. However once involved in the world of online shopping the entrepreneurs found that many people needed “a more convenient and tactile product friendly” method of viewing the internet. This stems from the fact that many mobile phone screens (which is the primary source of the internet) are not large enough to experience the worth of possessing tactile products. Millbug is also a prime example of how African governments are helping small medium enterprises meet their goals. It was assisted financially by the SEDA ICT incubator in relation to acquiring certification, and the two entrepreneurs received consultation and mentoring from Ellen Fishchat and Sipelp Lupondwana who are also part of the incubator.


Sabelo and Volwana have brought an innovative product not only to Africa but to the world and are a true inspiration of the saying “where there is a will, there is a way.” 

Photo Credits: innov8tiv.com, techcentral.co.za

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