Bonzy Salesman on Being a Digital Nomad in Lesotho

Selibeng Forum: Participating in the Digital Economy, A Talk by Bonzy

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Bonzy Salesman
Bonzy Salesman

The MC shared a funny tale about how he felt like he was cheated out of money by Bonzy Salesman in their past business dealings when he saw the size of the Pretoria company he was doing a website for and the money Bonzy had offered him.

Bonzy Salesman is a digital native. He is a digital product designer and a creative strategist with a background in marketing and systems design.

I am generally a communicator of thought and action between the leaders, decision makers and everyone else on the ground. I sometimes get cheated out of money too. Gag. The topic is ‘Digital Economy’ and I am going to talk about being a digital nomad.

I am going to talk about how I started, where I am now and the information and design based entrepreneurial ecosystem. My first love was graphic design but then I discovered the internet in a magazine and fell in love with it when they were still charging a Loti a minute at Internet cafes.

Henceforth, I spent all my pocket money on Google. In 2005, I got an opportunity to do a website for the American International School, that was my first big cheque. Afterwards I went to school and couldn’t do computer science because I had no IT (Information Technology) background so I studied Informatics which was actually a good thing because the combination of modules that I took drew me straight into what I call digital project design.

I studied Information Systems, Computer Science and the Internet. Since 2010 I have been on these streets, chasing people and nagging them about the internet. Over the years I have tried a variety of things. Where I am now is trying to build AfriGrid, which is a startup solving the logistics aspect of eCommerce. Applause.

On account of poor planning, streets do not have names and houses don’t have numbers. What I realized was that we still have unique identifiers as the water and the electricity metre numbers. What we’re doing is taking those identifiers and linking them to their GPS coordinates so that an identifier can give you a GPS code.

This would open doors for developers to build products based on our technology. I was incubated at the Vodacom Innovation Park. I was seen with a dummy cheque of M300 000. All I’d say is that a dummy cheque is a dummy cheque is a dummy cheque. Gag.

Where am I now?

I am recently institutionalized, meaning I have a place where I am being fully resourced. I do not have money yet, but I have the things that money buys. (This is better than the challenge that Thato Trer Rammoko faced after graduation.) So I will be working on Afrigrid.

What I think is really important is for us to come together and work towards a concerted purpose. To have a strategy. To know what we want, how to get it. To be aware of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. But mostly to know and support each other.

We should be consistent. We have to create a community that enables sharing of resources and information so we can go further faster, creating solutions to problems the system is not addressing.

I feel like we’re at the stage of activism. Talking is good but at some point we have to start doing something. I established a website (www.bonzysalesman.com) with which I am appointing myself as a thought leader. I do not like the word influencer because it has negative connotations, people shouldn’t use the word.

Thought leaders are people with knowledge and expertise in various areas followed by people with interest in those respective areas. What happens is thought leaders interact with interested folk, forming a sweet spot of influence by giving relevant and useful content that will be paid for over time given its value.

He went into a simple explanation of website visit statistics, the conversion rate (which is the number of visits that turn into money) and how it is all interaction and consistency based. With time, the same effort could lead to staggering sales or a high conversion rate.

He opened questions to the floor and this is how it all went down.

What is content?

There are various forms and formats of content. There is video, text, pictures. When I think of content I think data, information, knowledge and wisdom, whichever way you choose to package it, it falls under content. It comes down to information, anything you can use to transfer an idea across space and time.

We moved into an open discussion between the floor and panelists that will be shared in the coming posts.

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