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Africa Teen Geeks

Commonwealth Point of Light 86. Lindiwe Matlali

Lindiwe Matlali, representing South Africa, is the founder and CEO of ‘Africa Teen Geeks’, a non-profit organisation that teaches school children and unemployed youth how to code.

Lindiwe Matlali

Inspired by her experience being orphaned at a young age, Lindiwe is inspiring Africa’s next generation of technology innovators by eliminating the barriers faced by disadvantaged communities in pursuing science, technology, engineering and maths. ‘Africa Teen Geeks’ has blossomed into one of Africa’s largest non-profit technology education organisations. Since 2014, the organisation has trained over 110 teachers from disadvantaged schools and provided computer science training to over 38,342 young people aged six and upwards in 30 schools across underprivileged communities. Her numerous accolades includes TechWomen Fellow 2017 and Innov8tive Magazine’s ‘Top 50 Visionary Women in Tech To Watch.’

Nigel Casey MVO, UK High Commissioner in South Africa, said:

“Congratulations to Lindiwe on receiving this recognition for the wonderful work that she does. Through her passion for coding, she has reached disadvantaged school children and raised their aspirations. She has used her NGO, ‘Africa Teen Geeks’, to bridge the gap between affluent and rural schools in computing education. Well done Lindiwe on being South Africa’s 2019 Point of Light.”

Lindiwe said:

“I’m excited and humbled to be awarded with the Point of Light. ‘African Teen Geeks’ is a passion project, I often say that I have two jobs one that pay the bills and one that feeds my soul. African Teen Geeks not only gives the children an opportunity to learn new skills but it also allows us to raise their aspirations, to dream bigger and do more.”

Watch Lindiwe’s reaction to receiving this award:

See more about ‘Africa Teen Geeks’

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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