When Tapiwa left his home country of Zimbabwe to study chemical engineering at Drexel University, he received many questions from his American peers. How do you speak English so well? Do you have TVs in your country? Do you ride lions to school? This was when Tapiwa began to fully understand the depth of the misconceptions that non-Africans have about daily life in Africa.
Along with two co-founders, Tapiwa set out to change the world's perspective of Africa. For his third co-op, Tapiwa worked at The Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, a startup incubator at the top research university in South Africa. Here, he was able to launch Kasoma Africa, a platform where people in Africa can share their everyday experiences. The website features original African content, including long-form posts, pictures, videos, and (coming soon) audio. Kasoma Africa is targeted towards people living abroad who are from Africa and non-Africans who are looking to go to Africa. Additionally, the information on Kasoma Africa could be used by potential investors looking to expand into Africa, recruiters from universities who want to know about education in certain areas of the continent, governments looking to create partnership opportunities, or anyone who wants to know more about African from a multitude of aspects.
Tapiwa was able to use his connections from Ignite the Youth Africa, an international society that he created during his time at Drexel with activists from over 15 countries in Africa, as well as connections from his gap year in South Africa, to spread the word about Kasoma Africa. What makes this platform unique is its purpose to connect people to knowledge. While users can follow content creators, the purpose is to inform people about what is currently happening on the ground in Africa. News sources tend to report negatively biased stories that have skewed the general public's perception of the continent; Kasoma Africa seeks to change that.
Since its creation in June 2016, Kasoma Africa has grown to include a marketing team, an editorial team, and a creative team spanning across the United States, South Africa, and Kenya. The website has received over 490,000 unique views with over 50,000 returning viewers. Kasoma Africa is currently partnered with 5 African organizations to bring content to a greater range of viewers. Along with its partnerships, Kasoma Africa uses brand ambassadors, word-of-mouth, and social media marketing to increase viewership.
After graduation, Tapiwa will continue as the CEO of Kasoma Africa. He is currently applying to startup accelerators globally to further improve Kasoma Africa's reach in hopes of one day providing the world with a place to learn anything they ever wanted to know about anything in Africa.