Entrepreneur Uses Creative Problem Solving to Overcome COVID-19 Challenges


The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we work, presenting both a new set of challenges and a unique opportunity for business and technological innovation. No one understands this better than Nkosana George Mazibisa, a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow alumnus and current information secretary for the deputy mayor of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. This past year Nkosana combined entrepreneurship and his passion for innovation to create Asakhane. This online virtual platform offers key teleworking and digital marketing support to aspiring, new and established small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Asakhane offers a creative solution to new global workplace challenges. Providing users with online access to virtual offices, it enables firms to reduce the risk of allowing COVID-19 to disrupt their daily workflow. Asakhane reduces land and energy consumption by providing a platform that alleviates the need for an in-person workspace and reduces COVID-19 anxiety by providing tools to help individuals overcome stress and balance work. Nkosana’s enterprise also offers extensive digital marketing and entrepreneurial competency development resources, as well as business recovery toolkits. 

Participants of the MatLive Innovation Studio paint murals on the MatLive Business Incubation Centre to create socially engaging art.

When Nkosana is not working on his technology venture, he advocates for educational change and youth empowerment in his community. He explains that his first-hand experience of educational inequality drove him to find solutions to improve access to education. As chairman of the Mawaba Primary School’s development board, he commissioned and oversaw the construction of a state-of-the-art computer science and multimedia center. This center now serves as a model for all City Council Schools in Zimbabwe, and in 2019, it was awarded the prestigious Secretary’s Bell Merit Award!  

As for what’s next? Nkosana wants to combine his leadership skills and community service by running for public office in the next election. In doing so, he hopes to foster an environment that further promotes social inclusion and gender equality and builds on his existing work to create spaces for quality educational opportunities. He states, “I believe in character-driven leadership. It is the core of my authenticity. When aligned with empathy, influence, positivity and action, character adds energy, value, service and contribution to all it touches. Character elevates human endeavor.”

Nkosana awarded the “Most Impactful Entrepreneur” award in 2018 by the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Additionally, Nkosana wants to create a leadership documentary that highlights youth leaders making a positive impact throughout Zimbabwe. He explains, “The ability to share an idea is as powerful as conceiving it. You may have the most groundbreaking social cause, but without the ability to harness the power of social circles, its progress remains stagnant. What greater employment is there for a man than instructing a rising generation?”

YALI Network members can contact Nkosana to learn more about Asakhane on his Twitter feed.

 

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The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author or interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government.





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