Rapelang Rabana has been listed on Oprah’s 2012 ‘O’ Power List, mentioned by CNN and is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, all before the age of 30. A founding partner of Yeigo Communications, developer of some of the earliest mobile phone VoIP applications, shared her experiences and insights with Ventures Woman in an interview. Here’s what she had to say:

VW: Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

RR: I have been able to have live in 3 cities thus far in my life and seen very, very different ways of life. I lived in Gaborone, Botswana, then Johannesburg and now Cape Town. I did most of primary school at Thornhill Primary School in Gaborone, and then proceeded to Roedean School in Johannesburg to complete my primary and secondary schooling. I matriculated in 2001. Cape Town became my home when I came to study at the University of Cape Town and I never left. I studied at the University of Cape Town for four years, where I completed a Bachelor of Business Science with Honours in Computer Science.

While programming was very difficult for me, I ultimately chose to stick with it, because I believed unlike finance, accounting, marketing, psychology and various other industries, you didn’t have to spend so much time analyzing, reviewing, auditing and evaluating something someone else did, in the hope of adding some marginal value.

With Computer Science, you could create actually create something, from the figment of your imagination, from nothing – there seemed to be real power there to create tremendous value.

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