GKTurns10: Where There Was Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
South Africa has a high rate of startup failures, some start strong and unfortunately the journey is too tough. "Fortune favours the brave" as the saying goes, one is challenged to be brave, embrace and take the risk. Starting something is always exciting but to see it grow is most thrilling.
In the formation days of Geekulcha, the process was not unique. A lot of changes were faced by the team which needed working from the office all night even for an entire week, different sacrifices, long walks to freedom (even climbing a hill) and Geeks needed to eat.
The Geeks then developed a strategy and planned out to attend different tech /digital events where we would have breakfast, lunch and dinner - sometimes they would let us take midnight snacks. Credit to the events though, we got to learn a lot, acquired wisdom and network with the industry for opportunities.
Everywhere Geekulcha went, its presence would be felt and sometimes the MC would announce "the Geeks are in house". Later this discovered that then Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Post Services (now changed), Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams(MP) was aware of the Geeks notion and she saw Tiyani and cheered "the Geeks are in the house".
These humble beginnings later influenced Geekulcha to set standards and know exactly what food / refreshments must be served at tech events especially at Hackathons:
- It's a tradition that Saturday night of Hackathon must have a braai served as dinner.
- In 2016, Mixo was sent out at 2AM in the morning to go find sugar for coffee needs.
- Midnight snacks are a standard at Hackathons
- A partnership with Red Bull has been most helpful to make Midnight pitches to be possible.
"Serious food" as Tiyani would say, is described as the type of food that help the techies keeping on throughout the tech event / Hackathon. If Geeks are not served serious food, you would hear about it on social media or gatherings.
Geekulcha has on it's Flickr account, a photo album named "Hack My Food" - gklink.co/photos.
"We love tech events in the township or rural areas because it's an opportunity for a small catering business to provide a service. It's been wonderful to see some use the opportunity for greater growth", says Geekulcha COO, Tiyani Nghonyama.
Once upon a time in Mafikeng, Geekulcha hosted a Digital Literacy training event together with Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub and the event was over attended. Food ran out for Mixo and Tiyani, and therefore decided to get food on the way back home. They stopped by the road and got plates of food that included steak and chicken. Being impressed by the food, they decided to hire the caterer for the next event in Mafikeng.
The caterer managed to deliver the service amidst loadshedding and the Geekulcha team rated the food as the best. It was caterer's first serving at an event that was hosted with the British High Commission for a programme by the UK Government's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). This experience would go into their portfolio.
Geeks love their food and are ready to help elevate the South African culture and folks on the ground.