Passionate ed-tech entrepreneur
Founder of ReKindle Learning
Country: South Africa
Sector: Education Technology
Rapelang Rabana is a South African technology entrepreneur who is making waves both on the African continent and around the world. She established her reputation in the tech sector as the co-founder of Yeigo Communications, a company that gained international recognition for its pioneering innovations in mobile VoIP and IP communications. Today, Rapelang is the innovative founder behind Rekindle Learning, a company looking to improve education in Africa by turning people’s compulsion to check their phones into an opportunity to learn.
Rapelang is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, was chosen by Forbes as one of Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs, and listed on the ‘O Power List’ by The Oprah Magazine.
Rapelang's Startup Story
Rapelang Rabana’s entrepreneurial journey started at the young age of 22, after she graduated with honours from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in business and computer science. Coming from a family with a strong belief in the power of education to create opportunities (her parents were the first in their families to earn degrees in architecture and electrical engineering respectively), their advice was for Rapelang to focus on getting a good education. She attended the prestigious Roedean School in Johannesburg before moving to Cape Town to further her education. Whilst at the University of Cape Town, she began the critical process of learning to code, which although difficult at first, was a process which she quickly grew to enjoy. She realised the power of computer science, and the ability to code, as the building block of being able to create something practical and of real societal value, emanating from the germ of an idea or concept.
At LoA, we love what Rapelang Rabana is doing to empower people of all ages and backgrounds to take charge of their own learning and development through the use of mobile technology and learning applications, thereby opening up a whole new world of opportunities and possibilities in the future. She is also an inspirational role model for other women to follow in the world of techpreneurship in Africa, hopefully encouraging new generations of young women who will change the continent for the better through their own innovations and tech solutions to the many challenges that exist. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa
What inspired you to start?
"I believe that in 10 years one of the greatest drivers of data usage on the continent will not just be entertainment and social media, but educational, training and learning content, and I want Rekindle Learning to be at the crux of that."
"The biggest challenge as a female entrepreneur has, for me, always been the internal battle of appreciating my own value and trusting the validity of my own journey in the absence of external points of reference I could relate to."
"The challenge as female entrepreneurs is to continue to pursue our dreams and success, with very limited historical reference of people we can personally relate to, in the absence of an established framework that reflects our ideas, interests, values, and views of success."
Awards & Accolades
Rapelang's recent awards and honours include:
- Rapelang is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum and was the Curator of the Cape Town Hub of Global Shapers for 2013/2014
- Rapelang serves an Ambassador for the UN World Summit Awards promoting the use of ICT
- 2013 - Rapelang is listed by Forbes Africa as a '30 under 30 Best Young African Entrepreneur' and '20 Young Power Women In Africa' for 2013 and graced the cover of Forbes Africa before the age of 30
- Rapelang Chairs the Board of Generation Ubuntu, a not-for-profit organization providing life-saving care children living with HIV in Khayelitsha