The New Girl Code: Launch of a Fashion App

Picture: Pexels

Picture: Pexels

Published Jan 14, 2019


How do you ‘future-proof’ your child in a world where experts estimate that 65-percent of kids in the next generation will have jobs that are not even created yet?

Countless reports and research papers conclude that the overriding factor ensuring future career success is a focus on Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

But a mere 15% of college graduates are specialised in Stem qualifications; which is dramatically lower among female students, who tend to drop STEM subjects at an early age. A lack of role models is one of the key reasons for this.

A recently published book, the South African version of "The New Girl Code," tells the story of 15-year old Capetonian, Tumi Letsatsi who stumbles across the magic of coding and creates a fashion app which goes viral and rockets her and her friends to fame. The book tells the story of four 15 years-olds as they explore new worlds - that of tech, entrepreneurship and learning how to code but is also a story of friendship, fashion, relationships and all the issues of being a teen and all the challenges they face.

#InspiringFiftySA Launch of The New Girl Code uses literature to inspire the next generation of #WomenInTech

Edited by the talented @buhlengaba, the story takes place in #CapeTown and tells the journey of a 15year old discovering the world of #coding by creating a fashion app

— cocreateSA (@cocreateSA) November 8, 2018

Creator Niessen says she knows from experience that a career in technology means possibilities, innovation and creativity – however, a lot of young girls have a totally different view of tech.

Two years ago Niessen launched InspiringFifty in South Africa with her co-founder Joelle Frijters and the Dutch Embassy, aiming to increase diversity in tech by making role models more visible. The response made her decide to launch the book in South Africa as well.

"With the book we want to encourage them (girls) to consider careers beyond those they currently consider, and to become aware of the boundless opportunities in tech,” Niessen says.

Inspiring artist, Buhle Ngaba, the editor of the South African version is responsible for the colloquial use of language and quirky South Africanisms in the book.

Ngaba says that she thoroughly enjoyed localising the book and believes it has the potential to shift conversations on tech. “What I particularly appreciated about the process was the opportunity to create a landscape rooted in SA, with representational characters and where a young girl could be the protagonist in a narrative about coding. I hope that the character and story will inspire many young people to no longer view coding as a boring thing to do but as an invaluable and fun skill that has the potential to change your life."

*Proceeds from book sales will be used to make the book available for free to underprivileged girls who don’t have access to books. If you or your company would like to donate further to this worthy cause, please visit or email [email protected] for further information.

The New Girl Code sells at a recommended retail selling price of R120.

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