Hackathon: EU Africa The Post Crisis Journey

Before Christmas, I participated in another Hackathon. I was not thinking about winning, I just wanted to make it to the top 20. Unfortunately my team did not scale through.

For the first time, I did not beat myself up or try to think about what I could have done right. One thing I remember clearly was sitting alone and facing my laptop and a voice just echoed Maya Angelou’s quote to me:-

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.

I felt relieved and I focused on the next step. I am attempting two more coding challenges.

I am trying to raise funding for my tech startup (Keno.Tech). I have outlined ways I can make money from the startup but I need funds to be able to purchase the necessary items.

Our Project

The idea owner/team leader wanted to create a platform for small scale miners to sell their gemstones to potential (international) buyers. I joined the team because I really liked the idea plus it was different from every other idea submitted. I wanted to explore something different.

I was the only dev on the team so I had to work on the UI and the backend. I could not build all the features but I was able to implement gemstone entry (by admins and sellers), update shop details, manage profile, user application (buyers and sellers), etc.


I wished I had networked more. I was so focused on building the project that I did not get time to interact with other people. In my defense, there was no time to spare :). We did share our idea with panelist, Mr. Eric Kaigama who gave us valuable feedback.

Uhmmmm… what else. Yeah, I learned about small scale miners and how difficult it is for them to sell their gems to buyers. And lastly, I understand how to pitch now. Although I have to work on myself ’cause the thought of presenting or public speaking scares me.

Good news

On the 30th of December, I received the prize (R7,500) money from HackUrCulture. It’s more than enough to get me started on the kits I am working on.

HackUrCulture – Final Week

It all started from…”Congratulations”.

On the 21st of September 2020, I was selected to participate in the HackUrCulture Hackathon. Before then I had received 2 or 3 rejection emails so you can imagine my joy.

It was not as easy as I thought.

This whole thing feels like a Hollywood movie. When the actor feels defeated and suddenly things change for the better.

Three members dropped out.

I made up my mind to send an email to the organizers telling them I cannot get anyone on my team so here is the link to the prototype and the relevant documentation…I can’t do this.

At one point I did not know why I was working on the prototype. My mind was divided in two:

“Just leave it. why waste your time on something you will never present”

“Finish it. You can do this.”

Nick showed up when I had given up.

We presented on the 24th of October and I could tell the judges were impressed. I am so happy.

Hack Ur Culture
HackUrCulture Header

Regardless of the outcome, we did it. Team Myths delivered.

Thank you to the amazing team behind HackUrCulture. I have learnt so much and I feel blessed to be given this opportunity.

Important lessons: I can do anything, I should be confident in my ideas, I should trust myself, and the vision to design a platform for African artist was never a mistake.

Before I end this, I just want to say trust yourself especially that inner voice. When I had made up my mind to throw in the towel, something said to me, “…don’t worry, Nick will show up and you will present.”

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