Breaking the sounds of silence with BU inspired tech innovations

Behind every innovative invention there is a story, and here is an interesting one…

An apparent personal misfortune which later influenced good solution for the nation is one of million’s inspiring story of Lucky Netshidzati, a 27 year old entrepreneur who somewhere between good intentions and intelligence became a true inspiration.

Lucky was born in a rural area outside Thohoyandou called Nzhelele in Limpopo by deaf parents, and he was sent to be raised by his grandmother because he wasn’t able to understand nor communicate with his parents. Well, he was still too young to understand what was going on, but eventually growing up he had a lot of questions.

He saw how hard and challenging it was not to be able to communicate with his parents and that made him think of ways to salvage the situation.

Lucky spent years working on his invention as he started with the research in 2015, and in 2018 he met an IT engineer, Tebogo Mthombeni and that was how the concept started taking shape and came to life.

At the age of 22, Lucky’s smart glove to close the gap between the hearing-impaired people and the hearing people at the same time finding a way to help, was finally produced!

Lucky narrated some of his mother’s experience just like never having a bank account as she struggled to communicate with people, and having to communicate with different service consultants would have been a huge mess. He also mentioned there was a time when the doctor gave her the wrong medication due to miscommunication and misunderstandings.

“The glove will allow deaf people to engage with doctors, bank officials, police and other people in a manner that guarantees their privacy without the need of a third party,” he explained.

Also the school dropout rate in rural areas will decrease as there are learners who drop out of school because they can’t communicate with their teachers, also seeing that there are not enough special need schools in rural areas.

All thanks to the technical team who made his idea come to life. Because achieving this was a personal triumph.

While this innovation might be similar to the one in Kenya, this one is more advanced as it is compatible with all 11 official languages of South Africa.

Did you know that there are somewhere close to 300 sign languages used throughout the world today? Yes you read it right, so do you now see how tailor-made and advanced this invention is in South Africa?

It’s easy how the glove works…

It simply works with a mobile application. A deaf person wears the glove and when they sign in South African sign language, it translates sign language into voice.

He first tested the glove on his parents and then to the deaf society who responded with excitement.

The glove empowered Lucky to open a company of his own called Rudzambilu Holdings which develops telecom systems for people with disability and has created employment for 10 young people.

Lucky is indeed breaking the sounds of silence with the use of a smart glove that turns sign language into voice/text.

Now, we know that there are similar cases in your rural area or probably know someone who could be limited to something due to disability.

After reading this inspiring story, it has sure sparked your interest in IT related fields, so that you can make inventions that will not only benefit those close to you but the whole world too.

Luckily for you, BU has a FACULTY OF COMPUTING that will help you make your ideas come to life.

Time to make that call and apply today.

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About Gloria Masia

A South African based journalist who is fascinated about storytelling. Although she is new in the industry with less than two years of industry experience, she is excited to learn more. Gloria loves to travel and learn about other cultures. She is currently a full time journalist/creative writer with CMG Marketing Communications t/a CreativeMagic Group.

View all posts by Gloria Masia →

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