Growing up I used to cut out pictures of people that I admired, wanted to meet or those that I aspired to be like. Most of them were soccer players ( Doctor Khumalo, Shakes, Original Ronaldo and Rivaldo) and the majority of the rest were rappers( 2pac, Puff Daddy not P.Diddy & Jay-Z) who talked about being hustlers and living the good life. I have also been a great follow of Bill Gates. You know how his story went, “Bill Gates the riches man on earth who makes millions every hour”

It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.
–E.E. Cummings

Fast forward to today and I have yet to meet any of those individuals. I do still wish to meet them. I have however met some really incredible and amazing individuals over the past year or so. Most of them come from the business, entrepreneurial and tech world. These people I consider to be game changers,  influencers , the heavy weights of the industry and people that I have massive respect and admiration for. Yes sometimes I do have those silly groupie moments with some of them but one thing for sure is that they all have some sort of impact on me one way or the other and I am forever grateful that we crossed paths

Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so.  For glory gives herself only to those who have always dreamed of her.
–Charles De Gaulle

The first person that I feel needs to open the flood gates is a man by the name of Nyaladzi Mpofu. He has played a major role in pushing me to where I am today

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My first encounter with him was at the Microsoft Imagine Cup in 2010. I had been given the opportunity to represent my institution with Thabang Malaka. Unfortunately she had to dropout. He played a role in me being selected by Microsoft South Africa to be one of 6 students nationally to be Microsoft Student Partners in 2011

I am pretty sure he got tired of seeing my emails that I kept sending once I was selected. He did ignore a few, ok maybe a lot of my emails. That is not a good thing I know but whenever he replied he would reply with a link of some sort that I had to do research on. Nyaladzi taught me the importance of digging for information and not being spoon fed. He also ignited my passion for technology and gadgets because I always wanted to learn something new to impress him and get his attention.

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We ended up developing our own way of greeting each other. Instead of your typical “hi” it became “apps” because that was what he kept pushing us to do.

Nyaladzi introduced me to a lot of people in the mobile ecosystem which I am still in contact with. One of those people is the mLab CEO, Derrick Kotze while he was still with Nokia. With his support and constant pressure on me to deliver I became “The Microsoft guy” on campus.

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I believe that his influence on me helped give birth to INNOvatorz.IT and later on Geekulcha, which is based on some of the principles that he taught me directly and indirectly. Whenever I meet fellow MSP’s we always reflect on how influential he has been on our lives and I believe they do share the same sentiments about him in their own unique way

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.
–Vince Lombardi

Big ups to “The Big Chief”, keep doing what you do best. You inspire a lot of students in the tech world and your tireless work is highly appreciated. SALUTE

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P.S
Nyaladzi You still owe me a Lumia device.