Anesu Malisa from Bellville is the winner of the HomeWise Youth Competition where contestants were asked to develop an app so that citizens of the City of Cape Town can easily access information on government housing assistance.
The competition was launched on 23 July and entries closed on 30 August. The competition requested young people between the ages of 16 and 35 to design the mock-ups, prototypes or wireframes of the app, which is the user experience and user interface (UX and UI) and not the development of the entire app.
“I entered because I love technology and believe that the answers to the world’s problems can be found in the building of apps. My concept was simple: design a user experience and interface that’s so simple, anyone could use it, regardless of their previous experience with using smartphones,” he says.
Part of his design will be integrated in the actual app which the provincial government will be building next year. He won a 2019 Macbook Air and accessories for the laptop.
“I am currently working on my own app called Squadang. The idea is to create a messaging platform that will make it easy for Generation Z (13 to 24 years) to turn screen time into quality time by giving them tools that make it easy to organise get-togethers with friends. This is to help them to spend more time face-to-face with their friends offline, instead of just faco-to-screen online,” Malisa says.
Still on his bucket list is to attend the Singapore Grand Prix, watch an Arsenal match at the Emirates Stadium in England and travel in general, but to Tokyo and Hong Kong first.
“My other hobbies include writing and producing music, making funny videos on TikTok, designing things like T-shirts, photography, filming and editing videos and playing the drums.
“I’d just love to use technology to help people in my community to be the best versions of themselves. If we become the best versions of ourselves, the world automatically becomes a better place,” Malisa says.
For those who are not so tech savvy as him, his advice is to start looking at what you do every day and ask yourself the question: is there some sort of technology that will make this process simpler and faster?
“My app is going to benefit my community as the admin associated with organising a get together (aligning calenders, finding things to do and even money) stand in the way of people getting together. In the long run this has a significant impact on your relationships, because we were created to be in a community, but if getting together is such admin, we resolve to staying at home and bringing on Netflix alone and that’s not good for our mental health and wellbeing. So we want to remove the admin associated with getting together with friends, so that you spend more time in each other’s company,” he says.
Malisa attended Ashton College until grade 10, then home-schooled the rest of the way. He never studied for a degree, instead did an executive course in project management at the Business School of Stellenbosch University.
“Not having formal education almost caused me not to enter, but the passion I have for technology and the willingness to figure things out along the way, is what helped me. I just think if there were a whole lot more people who had passion and an attitude to just figure it out on the way, this world would have so many more solutions that would be changing the world right now!” he says.
According to Marcelino Martin, spokesperson for Tertius Simmers, provincial minister for human settlements, 20 entries met all the criteria.
“Entries came from our rural towns such as Heidelberg, Stellenbosch, George and Worcester. Pursuant to a rigorous, yet fair evaluation process, three entrants were shortlisted, as they scored the highest with their designs. We envisage having a trial version available by the end of this year, with a full launch in April 2020,” Martin says.
At the award ceremony he said the department was proud to be able to engage with some of the best and pioneering young techies in the province.
“As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society,” he says.
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