By Charndré Emma Kippie
Grey Jabesi is an African Tech entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of Crypto University (CU), Buy Bitcoin Malawi and Khodo App,Imojimotion, Alfajiri Ventures and United Africa Blockchain Association.He has a technical background in 3D animation, Web development, Design and Film making. Grey Jabesi is also the top Cryptocurrency and Blockchain influencer in the African continent, and he hosts Survival Skills Podcast. Grey’s mission is to build the version of Africa he wants to see. Grey is also passionate about women getting involved in the Cryptocurrency domain, as he believes It is time for better inclusion in the Crypto sectors and more opportunities for women to upskill in this area.
Crypto University (Crypto U) is an online university that offers various courses on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. We have a community of over 40 000 Crypto enthusiasts from around the world. We believe in financial freedom, especially through Cryptocurrency, because it does not discriminate. The 21st century is the knowledge economy and to succeed in such an environment, one needs to constantly upskill themselves with relevant education and that’s what we’re here to provide.
What got you into the world of tech? Where did this all start?
I loved computers. I was impressed with how much one can do on a computer. It allows you to be creative in so many ways. The idea that I could sit down in my bedroom and be productive. Writing code, designing graphics, editing videos was mind blowing to me. It didn’t require any formal permission for me to do this, that’s what made it very attractive. I could learn anything.
We’d love to know more about Crypto University (CU). Please briefly tell us about your vision for this venture.
Crypto University is the Harvard of cryptocurrency, except that it’s not exclusive and way more affordable than Harvard. If you genuinely want to get into cryptocurrency investing and trading, CU is where you go. After seeing how crypto changed my life, I had a burning urge to tell others about it but there wasn’t a reliable place where people could go and learn this. That is when I decided to launch Crypto University, to provide high level crypto education while making it affordable for everyone, anywhere in the world.
You’ve been quoted saying “My mission is to build the version of Africa I want to see”. What do you mean by this?
A version of Africa that’s independent, very productive and with an environment that allows for people to innovate and grow without having to go overseas.
You recently teamed up with Celo to launch a number of free Cryptocurrency courses. How did this collaboration come about, and what are the objectives thereof?
The Celo team strongly believes in making crypto useful, beyond the hype. Their blockchain is designed to process micro payments which is a big deal in Africa. CU as an education platform for crypto and blockchain acts as the bridge between the technology and the people. Our visions and goals are aligned with Celo, and we are excited about the partnership.
We are excited to hear about the launch of your new Crypto Women’s Course. How do you hope to empower women through this initiative? As big as Crypto is getting, we still don’t have enough women in this space, especially in Africa. We hope that this initiative could change that. The women on our team came up with the idea and put everything together.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Since I’ve been doing this for a number of years, every single day, I get a message from a stranger telling me how my work changed their life. I find this very rewarding.
What have been some major obstacles in your career, and how did you overcome them?
Ignorance has been a major obstacle as I have grown. I overcome it by learning new things all the time and knowing that by default, I don’t have all the answers.
As a vibrant techpreneur, what are your goals going into the next half of 2021?
My goal is to see the initiatives we started actually succeed. We want to reach a minimum of 200K people with our initiatives.
What tips do you have for anyone hoping to enter South Africa’s tech sector and launch a tech startup?
Just start. It doesn’t matter what you start with. Once you start, do whatever it takes.
What advice do you have for young techpreneurs who aspire to work in your field?
Let reality be your teacher, look at what people need and create it.
Who are your tech inspirations? And why?
- Satoshi Nakamoto – He solved one of the most difficult but fundamental problems to humanity and yet he decided to not reveal his identity and let his product (Bitcoin) take a life of its own. He had true intentions of changing the world.
- Steve Jobs – He was relentless about product and proved that besides anything else in business. It’s possible to obsess over every detail of your product and make it best. The market wants the best.
- Dr Dre – He innovated in music, one of the most difficult industries because the quality of the product is subjective. His work is intentional, he is always aiming for innovating the sound and he eventually gets it right after years of perfecting.
Grey Jabesi’s list of life-changing books:
- Skin In The Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Zero to One by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel
- The Alchemy of Finance by George Soros
- The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
- 4hr Work Week by Tim Ferriss
What inspirational quote do you live by?
Just do it yourself -Grey Jabesi
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