Zuko Mandlakazi was influenced by his surroundings to make a change in his community and society. His startup business develops a wearable wrist device that detect sounds and communicates this to the user. Through vibration and LED lighting, the device is able to alert the user and make them aware of potential danger.
The product is aimed at solving what he describes as a significant challenge for millions of deaf and hard of hearing people. #NightTalk host Wasanga spoke to Mandlakazi about the conceptualization of this life-changing device.
I moved from a remote rural area because it was difficult to come across opportunities says Mandlakazi.
When I got here, I couldn’t even speak English. I struggled a lot.— Zuko Mandlakazi, Entrepreneur
Mandlakazi adds that the one thing he lost hope in, was the educational system. I went through 12 years of schooling but I’m still struggling to communicate which impacts job opportunities says Mandlakazi.
In 2013, I went through some self-finding metamorphosis. I wanted to get into business and had a business that failed.— Zuko Mandlakazi, Entrepreneur
Mandlakazi felt that the corporate world wouldn’t give him the platform to make an impact. When I looked within my own environment, I realized that there was a problem I have always wanted to solve says Mandlakazi.
As he reminiscences over the eureka moment he had when his aunt came to town, Mandlakazi mentions that he noticed that his aunt was hard of hearing.
I started trying to finding a solution because I was concerned about her well-being says Mandlakazi. What would alert her of the dangerous sounds in the world he adds?
I saw the brutality that people with the same conditions as my aunt went through’— Zuko Mandlakazi, Entrepreneur
To hear the rest of Zuko's incredible journey, click on the audio below...