At SXSW, when dots connect, they make a full circle!
Here’s a little thing you didn’t know about me: I never owned a laptop till my third year of University.
A lot of people, like you, are probably wondering how I managed.
In 2010, I heard about a conference called Tech4Africa. From their website:
Tech4Africa is the premier mobile, web & emerging technology event, bringing global perspective to the African context.
Culminating in an annual event over two days, which brings together attendees and speakers from around the world, our vision is that technology can catalyse economic and social change in Africa.
It’s an exciting time for African technology and we hope that you enjoy the opportunity that Tech4Africa presents, as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it all together.
Tech in Africa was just about booming with the launch of the iHub in Nairobi and the many techies who were just now building a community around technology. The Tech4Africa conference couldn’t come at a better time!
To market the conference, the team decided to give away an iPad (the original iPad 1 I must add) as a part of the competition before the conference.
Rules were simple. Tweet about the conference and you’ll get prize.
Fast forward to today.
I’m at SXSW and I meet these guys. Toby Shapshak, Nivi, Natalie Cofield and Gareth Knight. Gareth is the founder of Tech4Africa.
Natalie Cofield is the resident & CEO of the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce in Austin, TX brought Nivi and I here through their Africa Diaspora Fellowship program. She had met Gareth Knight at last years Tech4Africa conference in South Africa.
Now here’s the interesting bit of the story:
Remember the iPad I told you about earlier? I won it.
For the longest time, that iPad was my primary computer before I got my laptop. It’s what I used to set up my initiatives (The Kuyu Project at the time) and run the organization. Its what connected me to my co-founders and enabled me to collaborate with them even though they were in different time zones. It’s what enabled me to use the Internet to tell my story and share my experiences with everyone else out there.
The dots connect when my work was recognized by the African American Capital City Chamber of Commerce and they awarded me the Africa Diaspora Fellowship. The Chamber had reached out to Tech4Africa team looking for people to award their fellowship.
So there we were – Natalie, Gareth and I – engaged in conversation stunned by the sum aggregate of our actions had come full circle! The dots had connected! In a sense, our actions contributed to the growth of each others initiatives which in turn made an impact on us and the people around us.
How powerful is that?
I don’t know what the future holds for each one of our initiatives honestly but I do know one thing for sure – our efforts wherever they may happen in whatever time, not only empowers those around us or our intended beneficiaries, but ourselves as well!