Sbu Nyamakazi: Sbu was our only co-researcher that did not belong to the Women’s Networking Group. At 24 years old, he was incredibly charismatic and passionate about life and success. Sbu was a co-founder of the Inyanda Youth Network, which is based in the same building complex as Sizakuyenza, operating out of a shipping container refurbished into a technology access point and training center. He has been recognized on many occasions for his contributions to the community through the creation of this network, and his ideas about social innovations are highly valued by the city of Cape Town. He loves music, and worked simultaneously on our project and the Philippi Music Project, which worked to empower youth through music. This passion was one of the many ways through which we were able to connect with Sbu. His aspirations included moving to Johannesburg to find a job in the business field and learning all eleven official languages of South Africa, of which he already knows 7 fully and is halfway learning the 8th. He played an integral role in helping us to understand the generation divide that resulted from the apartheid era, and his passion for bridging it contributed greatly to the goals we had for this project. Every day we learned something new about the social and economic culture of Philippi, Cape Town, and South Africa from him through either by a simple discussion or going into Philippi and getting food. Sbu served not only as a translator between us and the women when needed, but as a huge contributor of ideas for how to approach the project, including engaging with the women. Sbu 

Sizakuyenza’s Women’s Networking Group: The women’s networking group was established upon the founding of Sizakuyenza and is comprised of about 20 committees each representing a different community. The committee leaders are very knowledgeable of their community and meet together to address the needs of their committees to the rest of the networking group. The general goal of the committees is empowerment through many types of work. The biggest interests being sustainable gardening, running soup kitchens, professional training, and fighting domestic violence. The women we worked with previously knew each other through this network, which meant they were more enthusiastic to come in because they not only learned, but also had the opportunity to socialize.


From Left to Right: Sylvia, Thembisa, Nomafezeko, Thandi, Ether, Bukiwe, Lulama, Nomkanyiso

Front: Nosbongile

Not Pictured: Nomandla

Peer Teachers: These members of the Women’s Networking Group were picked by Vuyiswa to join us every day we worked at Sizakuyenza. Monday and Thursday we collaborated with them to prepare lessons and cover material for the larger group sessions and work on the mapping. On Tuesday and Friday they became the teachers and taught other members in the community what they had learned. This group was picked based on their knowledge of the community and desire to learn technology.

Nosbongile Dube: Nosbongile, or Dube as she introduced herself to our group, has been a facilitator for orphaned children at Sizakuyenza in the past. She previously went through a ten day technology crash-course which was the spark for her passion for technology. While working with us she spent as much time as possible at Sizakuyenza working on computers and at home on her tablet to progress her skills and the skills of others.



Sylvia Ngobe: Sylvia previously worked at Sizakuyenza’s garden and used it as an opportunity to empower women through sustainable gardening. Before coming to work with us, she had never touched a computer, yet despite this she learned very quickly. Because she already had a job at a school in the central business district when the trainings started, her motivation for this work was to spread the knowledge to her fellow members of the women’s network to help them find employment.

Thandi Ndlebe: Thandi started working at Sizakuyenza in 2010 as a support group counselor for children and HIV/AIDS patients. She has also spent time helping with the safe house at Sizakuyenza, and hopes to start her own business. As we worked alongside Thandi, her quiet demeanor within the smaller group sessions was transformed as she began teaching in the larger group. Her patience and care for the other women in the group was evident as she worked with the larger group to explain a range of topics.


Pilot Trainees: These members of the community came in twice a week and were taught computer skills by the three women in the core group. Some of these women struggled with English, so it was very hard for them to convey their concerns to us. The core group played a major role in our interactions with these women, as they were much more comfortable going to them and communicating their issues in their first language, Xhosa. In addition to learning technology with this group, we enjoyed singing, playing games, and sharing food.

  • Thembisa “Nono” Moketsi
  • Bukiwe Feya
  • Nomfezeko “Mafez” Kubane
  • Lulama Soyikwana
  • Ether Yalezo
  • Nonkanyiso Ndamase
  • Nomandla Gunya