Nyari Samushonga is the CEO of WeThinkCode, a South African tech academy that operates in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. As an Entrepreneur and Tech Executive, Nyari is passionate about seeing Africa take its place as a maker of cutting-edge technology. In her role as CEO of WeThinkCode_ she has driven effective initiatives to scale the impact of the organisation with an emphasis on building an inclusive tech sector.
A Chartered Accountant, Nyari has previously operated as the Managing director of ThoughtWorks Africa, a subsidiary of the global software development consultancy, and a Manager in Deloitte’s audit and assurance division operating in both Harare and New York. Born in Zimbabwe, she is now based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Learn more about Nyari here:
Name of your business, website, social media handles
What has been our greatest & favorite achievement so far and why?
Achieving gender parity in the academy’s enrollment and supporting the growth of young Africans, particularly women, in software developers.
If you are an entrepreneur, what motivated you to start your own business?
The motivation to join a growth-stage edtech startup was fuelled by a desire to build a purpose-led business. I siezed the opportunity to establish a commercially viable institution that is reputed for both excellence and inclusion. I was not seeing many places that were committed to this dual bottom line – financial success with a positive societal impact.
What does success mean to you?
I believe in entering spaces and leaving them better off than when I found them. My achievements have come from the combination of my hard work and perseverence and the support and sponsorship of some exceptional human beings that were committed to paying it forward. I view success as being able to achieve my own goals and use that platform to support others in achieving theirs.
What is your mantra or favorite saying? (If it's a known quote, please let us know who said it first!)
Any time you spend doing one thing, is time you don’t spend doing something else. Be intentional about how you spend your time. I heard it from Trevor Noah but I don’t know if he is the original source.
What failure taught you the most about life or business? What was the lesson?
Struggling to raise funding while knowing in my heart that the product we were building was a commercial and social gem. It taught me real perseverence in the face of adversity. You don’t need everyone to agree with you and support your mission. You just need to find your tribe.
What's your favorite book - fiction or non-fiction! - in the past year?
The Pedagogy of the Opressed. I re-read this recently.
If you could teach the world one five-minute lesson, what would it be?
Take the time to form deep and sincere positions. Knowing what you stand for and what you want to achieve makes it easier to make decisions and anchors your ability to perserve through adversity.
Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?
I would’ve been more decisive. I used to believe that all the best ideas would come from somewhere outside of me. I deferred to others even when I knew in my heart that the path they were taking me on wasn’t ideal. Finding my voice and asserting it has transformed my journey.
What does women's empowerment look like to you in action?
Supporting women to have the confidence to pick their own path and have access to the financial and structural mechanisms to help them succeed.
What would you tell 19-year-old YOU?
Speak up – you won’t always be right, but the world and your soul will be better for your showing up whole.
What will 86-year-old you want you to know TODAY?
She appreciates the fact that I lived fully and without regret.
Does anyone call you by a nickname? What is it?
What is your favorite place for our audience to reach you
What is your favorite quote? (It can be yours or from someone that you look up to.)
Fortune favours the brave.