Vulingqondo Digital Lab Launch

In the place of the rising sun, Mpumalanga - the sun started blazing with late summer temperatures from around 07:30AM and the chickens were finishing clucking at about 60-70 decibels. At the same time, the team from MEMT Group were finishing preparation of what the day brought the launch of the Vulingqondo Digital Lab in Maphotla, near Siyabuswa in Mpumanga.

The day's events were led by Ikwekwezi FM's radio presenter Miss Bussai Mathebula and also graced by the presence of Ndabezitha Mahlangu, Standard Bank and other stakeholders. 

Vuligqondo Research and Manufacturing Centre is a non-profit company accredited with Fibre Processing and Manufacturing SETA. The organization is in collaboration with the National Youth Development Agency, University of Mpumalanga, Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Science & Innovation, CSIR, TLIU, Ndzundza Mabhoko Traditional Council, GEEKULCHA and other stakeholders to improve our rural economic opportunities through science, technology and innovation.

This is a vision by Mr Jacob Mphahlela Masingi (Founder/Chairman and Project Leader) and Mr Bethuel Ramogaela (Co-Founder/Secretary and Technology Innovation Manager), with support from Ms Precious Sibanyoni (Vuligqondo Digital Lab Manager)

A road trip to Mpumalanga

As a key strategic partner, Geekulcha was asked to bring thoughtleaders and innovation ecosystem enablers and as such, the following stakeholders made a roadtrip to Mpumalanga to support the launch of the Vuligqondo Digital Lab.

  • Centre for Public Service Innovation, represented by the CIO Mr Muzi Ntombela
  • Startup Business Campus by the CEO, Mr Lucky Litelu
  • mLab Southern Africa through Ms Sina Legong
  • Muvhango Actress, Miss Azwi Litelu
  • Geekulcha team with Mixo Ngoveni (CEO), Mr Tiyani Nghonyama (COO), Mr Nathan Abam (Senior Graphic Designer) and Mr Tshegofatso Malope (Systems Development team member)

Vuligqondo Research and Manufacturing Centre (VRMC) was founded as Community Social Investment (CSI) Organization to support MEMT Technical College in order to make more impact on society by Mr Jacob Mphahlela Masingi and Mr Bethuel Ramogaela. The organization is situated in the rural village called Maphotla under MEMT Technical College Plot at Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality in Mpumalanga.

The VRMC has initiated Vuligqondo Digital Lab, Vuligqondo innovation networking Platform, Vuligqondo Rural smart and Organic Farming and Vuligqondo STEM Programme to support rural development in Mpumalanga by building economical activities in rural communities for inclusive economic growth.

This centre and lab will used to extend ICT and Business programmes in Mpumalnga as well as to build a strong tech and engineering scene in the rural parts of the province.  The youth in parts of Mpumalanga like in Maphotla lack access to resources in the main but one thing that sterns strong is the level of creativity. Day's activities included a number of cultural performances by local youth but also the elderly which shown creative overlapse across generational mix.

See the launch event in photos: