Hope Economy: People is the currency

The greatest currency in the world is people. We’ve realised at RLabs that our people is more valuable than anything we can ever create or develop. This also includes the people we serve because it is when people realise their value that hope begins to rise.

In order to ensure that people realise their value, we applied the following basic elements to what we do at RLabs:

1) Create an environment where those we serve feel that they are important and valued.

2) We innovate, create and develop new platforms, programmes, services and everything else to make sure those we serve can access the best services.

3) We always bring forth the best in order to allow others to shine and see their value.

4) We equip and empower so that other can do what we do and even better.

5) We always support, mentor and active cheerleaders instead of complaining.

It is therefore important that we have to always ensure that the people we serve and the people we work with are valued and I’ve always believed that the greatest investment you can make is to invest in people.


2014 Year of building the Hope Economy

A key focus for RLabs this year will be to build HOPE ECONOMIES across our living labs. Many people have asked me what is the business of RLabs and I’ve always indicated that we in the business of HOPE.

Hope is having a certainty in the present and a firm expectation in the future”

Therefore thinking about the term HOPE Economy refers to an environment where HOPE is created and shared that empowers and elevates those infused with it.

It is important for us to ensure that our communities are overflowing with renewed HOPE and it is our duty to make it contagious. We’ve seen over the years how the lives of people were changed through the power of HOPE. Some might think that what does technology and the Internet have to do with HOPE but it does provide opportunities to people who can access information that can transform their lives (See video below of how technology, the Internet and education impacted the lives of 2 members of the RLabs community).

Five important things to remember when you think about HOPE:

  1. Lack of HOPE affect a person’s ability to decide.
  2. HOPE operates as a capability.
  3. A little bit of HOPE can allow people to realize their potential.
  4. HOPE is to the soul, what the sun is to the sky.
  5. We need HOPE to rise in order to increase our faith and belief.

It is with this in mind that RLabs will further develop the model of a HOPE Economy as we strive to make HOPE contagious.


Year of discovery and Reconstruction

The past year has been an interesting one with so many things happening personally and in RLabs. I’ve learned so many new lessons that will only make me stronger in the future but above all GOD has been good to me. Some of the key lessons I’ve learned in 2013:

1) Nothing great have ever been achieved by doing it alone, I realised more and more that it is people who add so much value in my life and purpose.

2) You can’t change your past but you can change your future. It is the choices we make and actions we take that can transform our circumstances.

3) Hope is one of the most important ingredients in reconstruction. I’ve made it a personal mission to encourage our RLabs champions to make hope contagious and to keep being the change they want to see in their communities.

4) Challenges are there to strengthen you but to also take you to another level of growth. This has been a year of many challenges and I’m still on that journey of discovery but I can definitely say that I have grown so much during 2013.

5) Appreciate more and live life with purpose and meaning. I began appreciating the journey I am on more during this year as we started an Attitude of Gratitude at RLabs. It has also been a year where I began to focus more on why I am doing what I’m doing.

6) Faith does move mountains. It has not always been easy but we kept the faith and each time we experienced breakthrough personally and in RLabs.

7) Everyone has potential and it is our duty to help other to realise theirs as we realise our own.

As I look back it is has been a good year but I know that 2014 will be even better. I wish everyone a blessed and prosperous New Year as we believe that the best is yet to come.


Run a startup like Bruce Lee

Presented a short presentation at an ICT incubator networking event in Port Elizabeth, South Africa talking about startups and lessons we can learn from Bruce Lee. Below is the presentation and the talk was inspired by another legend Sheraan Amod’s post “When Effectiveness trumps Efficiency”.


RLabs Nigeria

Only weeks away from our team traveling to Nigeria to join our partners and hosts Youth for Technology . RLabs Nigeria will focus on developing and empowering youth in using technologies such as Mxit, JamiiX and Social Media tools to distribute health information and provide peer to peer counselling services.

It will also work on programmes to develop new innovations that can be used to address the social problems experienced in the local context. The RLabs partnership with Youth for Technology is made possible through the support of The Indigo Trust and the official launch will be later this month. Watch this space as we keep you updated with developments in Nigeria.



Mobile insights of South African youth

South Africa is continuing to grow as a mobile hungry nation as a recent study revealed that South Africans spend more time on their mobile phones than any other media channel.

As part of our research to understand youth reactions towards advertising RLabs conducted a mobile survey to 6,812 respondents which generated some interesting findings:

The age groups predominately featured are those between the ages of 18 – 35 (86% of respondents). More females responded to the survey (54%) than their make counter-parts (46%).

The most popular handset manufacturer was Nokia with (41%), followed by Samsung and Blackberry. The top 3 network operators were MTN (37%), Vodacom (25%) and Cell C (24%).

The study also indicated that 77% of the respondents spend 4 hours and more on the mobile internet daily. The most popular mobile phone transactions by the respondents were Buying Airtime/Electricity (35%) and Virtual Goods (31%). Mobile Banking only made up 6% of the responses.

Our study also confirmed the study by Inmobi that South African mobile phone users are comfortable with ads via mobile phone. We asked 3 questions related to mobile advertising and the respondents gave some unexpected answers:

How is your attitude towards mobile ads?

I am happy because I learn things I did not know before (36%)
I am ok with it because sometimes it could be useful (54%)
Don’t bother me because I ignore it anyways (4%)
Irritates me because I don’t like being bothered (3%)

What is your reaction towards mobile ads?

Click if it interests me (51%)
Read if interested but don’t click (11%)
Read even if not interested (17%)
Click on as even if it does not interest me (9%)
Ignore ads or look for skip option (8%)

Which ads do you prefer to see when it is shown?

Services (Education, Health, Social, informative etc.) (66%)
Entertainment (11%)
Lifestyle (Dating, Sports etc.) (9%)
Money or Finances (6%)
Brands (3%)

The respondents for the above study with gathered over a period of 2 weeks via the RLabs mobi and Mxit portals.