#RuralRockstar: From IT-Curious to IT-Tech Guy

I asked Vusi Sibiya – the Londolozi Game Reserve “IT tech guy” – for some tips on better Internet connectivity in the African bush. He looked at me with a straight face and said:

“Find a relatively large termite mound, climb to the top, and hold your laptop up really high. If you’re lucky you’ll catch some bandwidth on the breeze.”

He was joking.

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Vusi’s unique sense of humour: fortunately we no longer need to connect to the world via termite mounds.

Vusi is part of the reason that today guests at Londolozi Private Game Reserve have access to the Internet in each of the lodge’s suites and chalets.

How about this though: Vusi is from the greater Kruger Transfrontier area (a small, rural town about 45 minutes drive from Londolozi). Growing up, Vusi didn’t have access to computer literacy at school. In fact, his school didn’t have computers.

Yet, from his station at the Londolozi Creative Hub, the 27-year-old Vusi can check every Londolozi connection, and then – where there’s a problem –roll up his sleeves and “get on it”.

That includes the running and maintenance of the central Londolozi server.

Vusi’s IT training took place right here at Good Work Foundation (GWF).

In the early “digital” days (2009), Vusi would assist Gogo Mo Groch with teaching the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) at the Londolozi Digital Learning Centre.

Vusi then spent time as a facilitator and IT technician at GWF’s Madlala and Hazyview Digital Learning Centres (many of you may have met Vusi at Hazyview Digital Learning Centre or seen him in our GWF video – the one where he says he might just be the next Bill Gates).

By the way, Vusi taught himself the CompTIA A+ (technical support specialist) syllabus. No mess. No fuss.

“In 2010, I asked Vusi if he would assist in teaching the International Computer Driving Licence in a village called Justicia,” says Kate Groch, GWF CEO. “We owned zero computers, had zero money in the bank and had not yet registered as an ICDL centre. Armed with a laptop, and operating out of a store-room in a local primary school, Vusi made it happen and started doing ICDL with his first class. Since then, he has taught more than a 1000 students.”

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Left: Vusi the ICDL foot soldier in Justicia (2010). Right: Vusi teaching a CompTIA A+ class at Hazyview Digital Learning Centre.

This is a rural young man who is now managing technical support at a prestigious lodge in the bush, and we are extremely proud that he started his journey with us at GWF. In fact, we believe that there is an expression at Londolozi that can often be heard on the radios waves:

“IT Vusi is on it.”

Congratulations Vusi, and thanks for making it possible for Londolozi’s guests to connect with the world.

Most of all – thanks for being an inspiration to the people of our community.

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