- Two young app developers Tshepo Monama and Kgothatso Sibeko recently spoke to Briefly News regarding their smart cash app
- Monama and Sibeko were born in Polokwane and Gauteng but they have one mission and that is to see the youth coming up with new business ideas
- Briefly News looks at this beautiful story of the two young tech-savvy guys who also have a message for the youth
Tshepo Monama and Kgothatso Sibeko are two young minds behind one of the fastest-growing applications in Mzansi. The two recently had an opportunity to chat with Briefly News to give more about their ambitions and background.
The two young Mzansi entrepreneurs also have a message to South African youth regarding their dreams and why following them is fulfilling. Monama grew up in the dusty streets of Mokopane village in Limpopo while Sibeko was born bred in Soweto.
Briefly News exclusively speaks to the two businessmen who developed an app called Smart Cash that can help clients to make transactions easily using their mobile devices.
Tshepo Monama and Kgothatao Sibeko speak to Briefly News:
“I grew up on the dusty streets of a small Village called Ga-Kgobudi that is located 15 kms outside Mokopane town in Limpopo. After completing my matric with a distinction in Mathematics, I became a role model to many young people in the village. I then pursued tertiary education at the University of Limpopo, Where I studied a BSC degree in Computer Science.
"My goal was to complete my Master’s degree in Computer Science but unfortunately, I lost my father in a car accident. He was the only bread winner to help with my fees at the university. I was then left with no choice but to complete my studies and move to Joburg to look for a job to support my family.”
On the other hand, Sibeko says he spent most of his life relocating to different provinces and also lived in Cape Town. He told Briefly News:
“I was born in Protea, Soweto, and I have spent the bulk of my life relocating. I have lived in Cape Town, Mpumalanga, and spent my high school years in London, England, as well as Geneva, Switzerland. I studied Town and Regional Planning at the University of Pretoria, after which I went into starting my own business with my best friend which supplies A-C Grade coal predominantly for export.
“I met Tshepo in the early stages of his development of the payment platform, which was in 2016, and I was sold instantly into the vision. We have been working together ever since, with him on the technical side, and me on the operational side.
"When I joined the company, I knew nothing about software development, payments, or banking, so I have had to learn everything I know from scratch, with a mixture of reading, internet learning and best of all, curiosity and experience (in other words, learning from my many mistakes)."
Tshepo Monama and Kgothatso Sibeko share their background in the technology sector
Monama explains why he decided to join an industry that is widely known as very complicated and unpacks why they decided to develop their app. He added:
“I started as a junior software programmer. I was very lucky to find a job in a software development company where I gained experience in designing and developing business applications.
"Every time when I visit my family in Limpopo before I get to the village, I stop in Mokopane town just to withdraw cash so that I can be able to buy few things in the village. One day I got to the village at night without having withdrawn cash in town, the next morning, I was not able to buy bread for breakfast as many shops in the villages do not accept cards. No cash means no transacting.
“It was at this point that I started thinking about a solution to address my problem. I then started to develop an app that can allow people to pay for goods and services without presenting a card or cash.
"I believe this platform will change people’s lives. It will reduce the cost of accessing basic banking services such as ATMs, Retailers, Banks etc. Banking services are limited to developed metros, leaving the option to only use cash in remote areas.
"With limited access to mobile money payment systems even though many of our citizens are still unbanked. The app will alleviate some of these challenges. I have developed many apps before while working for other businesses. But this app I believe is the game changer as it solves real problems on the ground.”
Sibeko also echoed his business partner’s sentiments, saying he hopes to ensure the businesses in the township are also serviced. He explained:
“The township, rural business, as well as informal sectors are spectacularly under-serviced with regards to payment solutions. However, there is an incredibly large number of transactions that take place on a daily basis which are predominantly cash-based.
"Every sector within the township and rural areas have a unique set of rules and requirements which they have adhered to for decades, and we aim to integrate within those frameworks as much as we can.
"So many businesses are overlooked because of the centralised traditional forms of banking, which usually means that you need to go to the mall, or to the nearest town to do your basic banking. Our aim is to create financial inclusion, so that any individual or business, anywhere, can provide basic banking/payment services to their customers.”
Tshepo Monama and Kgothatao Sibeko hope to see more opportunities for Mzansi youths
The confident Monama is delighted to see the government playing a role in bringing computer-related subjects to schools. He noted:
“Well, I am happy that there talks to introduce coding as a subject at schools, which I think will encourage the youth to invest in technology. The youth must continue developing more apps and technology that solves their problems. The more we build the more we become innovative.”
At the same time, Sibeko says he hopes to see more children having basic access to data and technology. He explains:
“I believe there are two sides to this topic. On the one side, there is a lot of innovation when it comes to mobile, desktop applications and software’s from a variety of bright entrepreneurs who are adding a lot of value to people’s lives.
"On the other side of the coin, there are many capable, willing, and hungry people that simply do not have access to basic services such as data and who have the insufficient infrastructure to even consider software development and technology as a career path.
“So much more needs to be done by government and corporate stakeholders to create access and service provision to a bulk of the population, otherwise there will be an even greater gap between the so called ‘urban and informal’ markets.”
Steven Bartlett, 28, set to become the youngest dragon in BBC show 'Dragons' Den' History
In some other business news, Briefly News reported that social media entrepreneur Steven Bartlett is set to bring a new, younger viewership to the popular BBC show Dragons' Den.
At just 28 years old, he's the show's youngest-ever judge. The show sees people pitch their innovative business ideas to more experienced entrepreneurs in exchange for advice and a share in their companies.
BBC made the official announcement on Thursday, much to the satisfaction of Barlett's 1.2 million social media followers. Over the past 15 years, the business titans of Dragons' Den have sealed 276 deals with 1 000 entrepreneurs worth £22 million.
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