As a Man I Have to Say: “These African #WomeninTech are Changing the Continent”

She looks at her past with gratitude and is looking at her future with hope.

Her name is Gay Sibuyi. She is a woman, a mother, a leader, a #WomaninTech and one of Good Work Foundation’s adult learning programme leaders. In that role, she is at the forefront of an education revolution, one that is rolling out digital learning campuses into South Africa’s most rural communities.

“I must make sure that things run smoothly to the highest standard and that we use the same methods across all the GWF’s campuses” Gay says. She’s a no-nonsense lady. Her father is a cattle-herder and her mother is a tuck-shop vendor. She still lives in rural Mpumalanga. But with her “beyond the norm” attitude and her digital skills, she is a symbol of change.

It amazes me that Gay’s team always provides good results (students consistently score above 80% and these are people who start having never clicked a mouse before) so I wanted to know her secret.

“There is no secret, I’ve been involved in adult learning programmes for years now and I have learned that time management, good communication and hard work are the keys to provide wonderful results.”

“We make sure that we use different teaching styles to accommodate everyone by motivating them sometimes, telling them how important education is, and making sure that everyone feels comfortable and enjoys every lesson,” Gay continued.

Motivation is key. Telling people they are worth it is crucial. You can be rural and great. Fact!

Gay believes that IT literacy is a ‘must have’ qualification for everyone, because many people and lots of companies operate digitally these days. With a smile on her face Gay says: “I had no obstacles on my journey, just challenges and I managed to overcome them”.

I wondered if there was someone or something that inspired Gay for her to do all the work she does. “I get inspired by my family especially my Mum and my sister and I always wanted to be an independent woman. I’m not against being a housewife but for me that is an old fashioned idea. Women can and must build a new and exciting continent with new ideas.”

Gay continued: “It is a fact that GWF is going places, that it’s growing, leading a movement and rural people will keep getting quality digital education.”

A strong and ambitious woman, Gay caught me by surprise when she said: “I don’t have future plans, I live in the present.”

As a man I have to say, these African #WomeninTech are changing the continent. They’re inspiring and I am proud to work alongside them.

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“It is a fact that GWF is going places, that it’s growing, leading a movement and rural people will keep getting quality digital education.”

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Gay recently visited Cape Town for an ICDL convention with Deon and Ockie who have been working with Gay and mentoring her on ICDL teaching and training for more than ten years.

Written by: Wiseboy Shabangu

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