I met this WebAddiCT on June 16 2006 in a freeeezing old school.hall in the middle of who.knows.where. It was South Africa’s 1st BarCamp organised by Geekspin & the Marketing Geek. I think that BarCamp was critical to the evolution of our little geek/blogging/socialmedia community >> so in some sense this is an anniversary post of that tipping point too.
Dave had been raving about this respected blogger Rafiq Phillips of the legendary Web Addicts was going to be there – the man now also known as trafiq (because if there is one thing that the Web AddiCTs know how to do : it would be driving digital traffic to their site) – SEO with its ever.changing algorithms is their speciality. But oddly enough it’s not the only traffic they’re into. Rafiq and his equally bright business partner Miguel Dos Santos run a business called iDrive. It’s changing the way driving schools work, but has the genius seed other service industries can learn from & use.
The innovative concept behind iDrive has been their ticket to the African Innovator of the Year award, and more recently to TED Global (oh the envy!!). They’ve been working with Mxit and mobile applications for a while now & have no doubt that mobile’s the future of technology best suited to Africa: lightweight, low.cost, massive reach and doesn’t rely to heavily on fixed infrastructure.
Rafiq believes that getting web-enabled mobile phones into the hands of other young Africans will unleash a wave of innovation throughout the continent. [Creativity is always sparked when a new tool is combined with limitations and curious minds]. There’s a really easy way you can help begin that process right now BTW: head here and vote for Rafiq to donate a phone to a Tanzanian student.
He’s passionate about helping to build African tech without a dependence on external aid. About solving our own problems in a fresh & innovative way without cloning. Unlike a lot of our brilliant young tech minds, he has chosen to stay in South Africa:
3:47 PM Rafiq: what makes me stay in za (cape town)?
za is a 1st world county
compared to rest of africa
we have 3rd world problems
only solutions & business opportunities waiting to happen
Go celebrate the brilliant people you know who are using their talents in South Africa, helping to get this place rocking! See you next week with yet another of the geniuses I have the pleasure of sharing with SA Rocks.
*respect to our own Google Summer of Coder Charl van Niekerk who’s also holding his ground here in ZA – thank you guys!
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