Published On: 1 September 2023

Get up, close and personal with our Senior IT Officer, Bekani Samuel Nsibanyoni! Find out why he places such high importance on IT proficiency, and learn more about his vision of creating an IT Training Development Centre.

Q: What can you tell us about the Digital Discovery Hub?
A: Today THINK relies heavily on computerised technology to efficiently complete various amounts of tasks. As part of our mission to create a workplace that is efficient and effective from a technology point of view, I would like to embark on a journey that allows us to ensure all THINKers have access to basic Information and Communication Technology (ICT) courses. This also includes the use of AI, and will ultimately equip all of us with technological advantages from the ground up – varying throughout the departments and levels as required. My end goal is to ensure that everyone who joins THINK will gain an EUC (End User Computing) certification and, ultimately, the confidence and ability to use technology throughout their journeys.

Q: Tell us more about how you will approach AI within this hub?
A: The world never stands still, especially where technology is concerned. AI is important as we progress and operate within the global technological sphere, and at THINK we are looking to be ahead of the curve by embracing this emerging technology.
The THINK AI lab will promote awareness and education, and be a ‘one-stop shop’ for all the information and data we have that falls within the AI data strategy. The first step will be to train THINKers on the different AI applications, and the next step will include practical exercises, projects, and simulations – enabling participants to gain hands-on experience with AI tools and techniques. This approach enhances understanding and prepares individuals to apply their newfound knowledge effectively. The lab will also contribute to building the capacity of THINKers, volunteers, and stakeholders with AI skills that can drive innovation and efficiency in the organisation’s activities.

Q: What was your inspiration behind this idea?
A: This was driven simply by the core value of THINK; making a difference by investing in our team members’ professional growth through training, workshops, mentoring, and opportunities for skill enhancement. Many are afraid of technology, and I want to help break that fear and help you embrace it instead – in a space where you are free to learn and ask questions, no matter how simple or complex.

Q: How do you see it working, and when do you hope to implement it?
A: Within the next year, I see us embracing all stakeholders as well as forming external partnerships. We need to collaborate with academic institutions, industry experts, and other NGOs to create a network of external knowledge sources that can supplement our training efforts. The possibilities are endless; however, this is where we aim to start!

Q: Tell us about Bekani; who are you when you put IT away?
A: In my spare time, especially on weekends, I invest my time in developing myself. Every Saturday I attend MBA classes with the University of Netherlands, and I also attend Business Development Seminars – because I believe that as a leader you cannot stop studying or developing yourself. On Sundays it is God’s time, and family time. And in between, I do my articles and research. Most people don’t know that I am also a musician – I play drums, keyboard, and bass guitar in my local church.

Q: When did you become a THINKer, and how do you align with THINK’s values?
A: I started in May 2021, and I am a knowledge worker. Intrinsic factors play a significant role in driving knowledge workers’ satisfaction and engagement. We are often motivated by opportunities to learn, make a meaningful impact, contribute to projects aligned with our interests, and collaborate with like-minded individuals. Providing an environment that fosters personal and professional growth, supports well-being, and offers challenging and fulfilling work can be more influential in motivating knowledge workers than monetary compensation alone.
Encouraging teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, and knowledge sharing can foster a sense of community and motivation, which contributes positively to our values and culture at THINK.

Q: Why did you get into IT, and why do you feel it’s so important?
A: ICT impacts various aspects of modern society, economies, and individual lives. It enables people from different parts of the world to connect and communicate instantly, breaking down geographical barriers and facilitating cross-cultural interactions. And it has transformed education by introducing digital learning tools, online courses, and educational platforms – making education more interactive, engaging, and accessible to learners of all ages.
Learning and having some level of ICT proficiency important for everyone, regardless of their field of interest or profession. Here’s why:

  • Digital Literacy: In today’s digital age, being digitally literate is as important as basic reading and writing skills. Learning ICT helps individuals navigate and utilise digital devices, software, and online platforms effectively.
  • Employability: Many jobs require at least basic ICT skills. From using email and word processing software to more advanced skills like data analysis and programming, ICT proficiency can enhance employability and open up a wider range of job opportunities.
  • Adaptability: The technology landscape is constantly evolving. Learning ICT helps individuals become more adaptable to new tools and technologies, ensuring they can keep up with changes in their personal and professional lives.
  • Education and Learning: Digital resources and online learning platforms are increasingly important in education. Learning ICT skills enables individuals to take advantage of online courses, research materials, and educational tools.
  • Problem Solving: ICT often involves troubleshooting and problem-solving. Developing ICT skills encourages critical thinking and the ability to troubleshoot technical issues independently.
  • Lifelong Learning: ICT skills empower individuals to engage in lifelong learning, adapt to new technologies, and continue acquiring new skills throughout their lives.

In essence, ICT skills are essential for participating fully in the modern digital society. They empower individuals to effectively use and leverage technology to improve their personal and professional lives, making learning ICT beneficial for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Q: What makes you so passionate about IT?
A: There are three things I can touch on here;

  • Innovation and Creativity: ICT is a field that constantly evolves. For me, ICT offers opportunities for individuals to come up with innovative solutions and creative applications of technology. The ability to create something new and impactful can be a driving force for passion.
  • Continuous Learning: ICT is ever-changing, requiring individuals to engage in continuous learning to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends. Those who enjoy learning and adapting may find this aspect of ICT appealing.
  • Impact and Contribution: ICT has a profound impact on various aspects of society, from healthcare and education to business and communication. Those who are passionate about making a difference in the world can find fulfilment in contributing to technological advancements.

Q: How do you keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of IT?
A: The below are important focus points for me.

  • Certifications: Pursue relevant certifications in your field to validate your skills and knowledge, while also ensuring you’re up-to-date on industry standards.
  • Networking Events: Attend local tech meetups, hackathons, and networking events to connect with other professionals and gain insights into the local tech scene.
  • Tech Blogs and Publications: Subscribe to technology-focused blogs, magazines, and publications to receive in-depth articles and analysis on emerging trends.
  • Online Communities and Forums: Participate in online communities and forums related to specific technologies or areas of interest. Engage in discussions, ask questions, and share knowledge.
  • Tech Conferences and Events: Attend conferences, seminars, workshops, and webinars in your area or online to learn about emerging technologies and best practices from experts in the field.

Watch This Space!
Next month Bekani will tell us more about AI; unpacking its importance and highlighting both pros and possible cons.