South Africa: Dacod Magagula Builds Chatbots for Homework Assistance and Exam Preparation

By : Melchior Koba

Date : jeudi, 11 avril 2024 16:16

A computer scientist by training, he leverages his expertise to benefit South Africans by offering solutions aimed at making education more accessible and effective for every student, whatever their background.

South African computer scientist and entrepreneur Dacod Magagula (photo), a University of Cape Town graduate, co-founded FoondaMate in 2020 with Tao Boyle, after honing his expertise at various companies. FoondaMate, where Magagula serves as CEO, aims to provide accessible, high-quality educational resources to South African students.

The company uses artificial intelligence to develop chatbots for messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The goal is to equip students, especially those without internet access or who have difficulty finding pertinent information, with the necessary tools for academic success.

Magagula’s inspiration for FoondaMate stemmed from his educational struggles. Raised in a resource-scarce rural township in Mpumalanga, South Africa, he fully understands the challenges many students face. “I went to a school in a rural township school in Mpumalanga, South Africa, that didn’t have resources. I did not have electricity at home until I was 7,” he recounted.

FoondaMate, which initially offered downloads of old exam papers, now boasts over a million users who use the service via WhatsApp or Messenger for homework assistance and exam preparation.

Before his entrepreneurial venture, Magagula gained significant web development experience. In 2016, he interned at Lumico, a digital marketing agency, as a web application developer. From 2017 to 2021, he held successive positions as a full stack developer at Monetise E-commerce, an e-commerce agency, and as a full stack engineer at ninety9cents, a South African advertising agency.

Melchior Koba


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