Company Description & Background
Syafunda is a learning and data management platform. We provide access to leading digital content through mobile technology.
Through a combination of video, audio and e-books, we integrate best teaching practice and take this content directly into the school system where it’s needed most. We do this using a wireless digital library: technology we have developed ourselves.
Our differentiator is our ecosystem approach. This is a direct response to the barriers of learning facing our children on the continent:
- A lack of relevant world-class content that equips them for the future
- A space to access this content
- A means to access this content
This means that we are able to ensure that our content reaches its ultimate destination – our learners.
Our team brings together a blend of complementary individuals who are naturally curious and creative, strategic, analytical and action-oriented.
We’re a combination of visionaries, pioneers, technicians, do-ers and empaths.
From the beginning we’ve worked to represent the promise of diversity and talent within our country. We’re proudly Level 1 B-BBEE.
Xolisile Radebe, CEO
Born in Atteridgeville, a township west of Pretoria, Xoli’s parents were a teacher and a nurse – meaning that education was a non-negotiable when she was growing up. In 2000 she obtained her BSc (IT) from the University of Pretoria. She realised then that she was privileged and wanted to give back to those who were less fortunate.
Her corporate career in IT auditing, governance and operational risk saw Xoli hold various leadership positions, experiencing first-hand the power of education and the doors it can open in life. She left formal employment in 2017 to pursue her dream of providing underserved youth with support through education and help them realise their dreams. Xoli describes herself as an education activist. She finds fulfilment in helping learners spread their wings and fly, and lives by the mantra “be the change you want to see in the world”.
Brent Miller, CTO
Born and educated in Durban, Brent started his IT journey as a self-taught passionate IT tech. After school, he joined the Microsoft underprivileged schools programme run by Compu-traders. He visited many underprivileged schools through this work typically being tasked with getting the “IT room” functional.
This experience really struck home – showing him just how many obstacles these schools faced daily. When the programme came to an end, Brent was left wanting to continue to help in some way. Six years later he found another opportunity to assist schools again, and was able to successfully build and deploy a school system.
Brent found himself back helping students, and feeling good about what he was doing, closing the gap between “haves” and “have-nots”, and leveraging an IT system to help students grow. While doing this Brent met Zakheni. They spent many nights chatting about what was needed and how it could be achieved. In 2016 Brent finally joined the Syafunda team and the rest is history!
Mpumelelo Chili (Project Manager)
Mpumelelo Chili is a young man who is very passionate about the education and empowerment of young people. He has a background of Maths and Science really enjoys teaching Mathematics. He believes that ANYONE is capable of learning and understanding Mathematical concepts given the right tools to do so and this applies to all the other learning subjects
Simphiwe Voorslag (IT Support)
From Cape Town settled in Durban. I’m a person who is driven by the idea of “emancipating ourselves from mental slavery coz none but ourselves can free our minds” this is an idea that forms the foundation of my personal struggle that lead me to Syafunda, an idea which I am prepared to die. As a person who spent 8 years in the filming industry, I learnt that indeed “the media is the most powerful tool because it controls the minds of the masses” and this fact made me uncomfortable in the filming industry because it wasn’t being used to emancipate the minds of our future leaders. Syafunda exposed me to a method in which we are able to use the same tool “media” to achieve the idea that shapes the foundation of my life, mental freedom.
Education is key to success, science and technology is the future and the media is the most powerful tool, with these three philosophical methods I believe we will achieve this objective “by all means necessary” bringing about a new era of illuminated leadership. The emergence of this new type of leader will mark the end of poverty, illiteracy and a colonised mindset, taking Africa back to its ancient times on greatness and innovative thinking that shaped the civilisation of the whole world.