University drop-out's big ideas make waves in tech industry

Published Oct 19, 2023


Born and raised in Thembisa, Johannesburg, young Mongezi Masombuka (30) is the founder and Managing Director of a successful IT and business solutions company and is steadily making waves in the tech industry.

Having only recently celebrated his 30th birthday, Masombuka has already conquered a myriad of challenges.

Stopping at nothing, his passion for knowledge and drive for success has propelled him into a dynamic entrepreneur and the visionary founder of the tech company Clowdy, established in 2019.

In a short space of time, the business has seen formidable success and established partnerships with major tech players like Rain, Microsoft Azure, Amazon web Services (AWS) and Huawei.

Residents of Thembisa have historically been faced the harsh realities of inequality and poverty.

Having lost his mother when he was just three months old, Masombuka has always thought himself an outlier who was born to stand out and do things differently.

This mentality armed him to overcome years of disappointment, which included struggles with studying and difficulty finding and keeping a job.

Masombuka always dreamed of achieving the academic excellence that would lead to a career he could be proud of.

Even though he loved reading and had a natural curiosity for knowledge and exploring ideas, Masombuka faced academic challenges. It was later revealed that he was grappling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

While this diagnosis shed light on his difficulty sustaining attention, it also fuelled his determination to excel.

Time eventually revealed that not everyone's path to success is the same.

“Although I often found it difficult to finish tasks, I was always full of ideas that were impressive to the people I shared them with. The problem was I couldn't always follow through on them. I eventually learnt that I didn't have to follow a linear path to success. I accepted that my mind just isn't wired like that,’’ said Masombuka, who calls himself a proud dropout after abandoning his studies at two top SA institutions because he struggled to learn in the traditional way and did not feel accommodated for in the formal education system.

In the face of adversity, he never gave up. Masombuka discovered that he could become his own best teacher. He taught himself the IT skills and knowledge he needed by doing his own online research, and he looked for alternative ways to gain the skills he needed to work and trade in the field.

‘’My idea came to me as a solution to a problem I and many South Africans faced. You buy an internet connection product, usually via a monthly contract. They then send you a device, and you're expected to connect it yourself. You experience connection issues, not knowing that there are easy ways to install your Wi-Fi connection in a way that optimises connection,’’ Masombuka said.

‘’This is just one of the solutions we now provide. I started on my own helping people with their home Wi-Fi connections who were mainly Rain customers. After a year of sending proposals and requests for a meeting, Rain finally took notice, and we came to an agreement to provide this service to their customers.’’

In less than four years, Masombuka has turned his tech start-up into a fully-fledged IT business solutions company. He has since established two more businesses, an online fashion retail company, UDARKIE. He also co-founded with a partner, an e-commerce business named BuyMo.

In 2018, Masombuka enrolled into a year-long IT skills programme through Afrika Tikkun Services.

The empowering programme enabled him to finally gain a formal qualification in a career that encouraged him to stay the course and enhanced his creativity. Masombuka’s powerful success story demonstrates the impact of skills development and giving youth a chance to follow their dreams even in difficult circumstances.

Now employing over a dozen people, Masombuka is planning to expand his empire.

He hopes to encourage people to embrace the qualities that make them stand out and see the world differently because his most inspired and lucrative ideas came to him when he finally embraced his unique brilliance, allowing himself the grace and time to learn and grow in a way that was different, but ultimately liberating.