Lindiwe Matlali holds a Bcom degree from the University of Cape Town and recently completed a General Management Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). She is currently studying towards MS in Technology Management from Columbia University in New York as well as a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Stanford University. Her numerous accolades includes Young Business awards top 3 finalist, Mail & Guardian Top young South Africans 2014 , TechWomen Fellow 2017 and Recently Named Innov8tive Magazine Top 50 Visionary Women in #Tech To Watch in 2017. Lindiwe will also be giving her first Ted talk at TEDxBeaconStreet an event organized by MIT media lab.
Matlali states that her biggest challenges in introducing computer science to disadvantaged commutes is the lack of infrastructure i.e. computer labs in township schools, as well internet access. Her goal was to create a platform that can teach coding to disadvantaged commutes by removing the biggest barrier, the computer. To do this, Matlali created a programme that has been patented in the US called Knit2code that teaches Python utilising knitting.
This is momentous as it not only teaches girls and young women, but because it also includes the girl’s caregivers, their mothers and grandmothers. Knit2Code teaches girls and their female caregiver the power of computing so that technology continues to be filled with women who can design programs for all. As Matlali states “It also reinforce connections between generations of women, encouraging them to see themselves not only as domestic agents but also as agents of change. We have removed the biggest barrier for many African girls who have no computer or internet access; enabling them to learn the foundations of coding”.