Local Software Developer Wins 2020 Business Applications Award

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Local software developer, Mukondleteri Dumela from Nyavani village in Malamulele region won the award for the best MTN educational application of the year 2020 which took place virtually for the first time.

The awards which celebrate South Africa’s top app development talent saw an unprecedented 726 nominations, of which 75 were applications submitted for the best educational solution.

Dumela developed the Xitsonga Fundi Dictionary with the sole purpose of providing users with thousands of translated words from Xitsonga to English.

The app is dubbed the app that crosses the learning barrier, a solution that focuses on solving educational challenges in Africa.

The app is designed to help learning in a fun and intuitive way, users can just take a photo using Xitsonga vision function to find out what the word in Xitsonga is. This app also includes a function to access Xitsonga proverbs and idioms, sharing with users the wisdom of Vatsonga people.

Dumela says he developed this app only to make learning the Xitsonga language easier. It took him four months to build the app with many initial features already available on the Xitsonga.org website.

Growing up in the village of Nyavani in Malamulele, Dumela who now lives in Kraaifontein in Cape Town, first learned to use a computer when we went to the University of Pretoria to study a Bachelor of Information Science in Multimedia .

As the founding developer of Xitsonga.org, Dumela partnered with Hlulani Baloyi (product manager), Hlawuleka Maswanganyi (lead developer), Ntshuxeko Ndhlovu (editor), Akani Maluleke (social media) and Irvin Maceke (developer intern) .

Dumela said it was overwhelming to receive an award of this magnitude. “The fact that our hard work on digitizing Xitsonga has been recognized and celebrated inspires confidence in our team to continue our work. It’s a truly remarkable moment for our team and Vatsonga as a whole. Ndzi ri avuxeni Afrika Dzonga.

He also added that in the coming year, they want to expand the platform to include more African languages. Fundi Marketing Director Khaya Mncango reportedly said, “At Fundi, we have always believed that education is the key to unlocking real value for our people and our country.

As a result, we will always support innovators who share our goal by developing technologies that create unique educational experiences for South Africans and expand access to educational tools for all.


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