Kopano Ntsoane, the young entrepreneur who turned a hobby into a flourishing business, is taking the gaming industry by storm.
It all started in the township of Kwa Thema in the Ekurhuleni district, where he grew up living with his grandmother. Video-gaming was Ntsoane’s favourite hobby, which soon became the favourite pastime for his friends around the neighbourhood as well, and when he began charging them at an hourly rate to play games on his Play Station II, he quickly identified an opportunity for himself.
With his late father running several businesses in logistic, property and vegetable businesses in Kwa Thema, Ntsoane was exposed to an entrepreneurial setting from a young age. It comes with no surprise that he identified the gap between the youth in our communities and games that speak to them in terms of their social, mental and psychological needs. Thus, bringing the Modern Gaming programme to life.
He started off charging people for playing games on his gaming consul like he used to when he was younger, and the business quickly expanded. While he was researching the various ways he could expand the business he noticed how his customers’ gaming skills progressed, resulting in them playing these games at faster rates and critically overcoming the obstacles with no hassles. Ntsoane realized the basics of learning that his games provided which led him to selling this idea to schools.
At first, institutions couldn’t fathom his concepts, but after seeing the results of playing educational games, they quickly learned of the unconscious learning taking place. Through these methods, Modern Gaming grew into the company that develops and customises corporate and social video games for both computer and mobile devices, for companies, social organisations and government departments. Kopano proudly boasts about how they can design anything, from something to educate about product development, to team- building, and even science. Modern Gaming’s “social games” aim to resolve a type of problem unconsciously, like gaining teamwork skills, to learning critical thinking.
Though business is booming for Modern Gaming, with partnerships with companies and training institutions like Friends of Design, Department of Education and Ironwave Technology House, Ntsoane states that entering the gaming industry is difficult, especially for an African startup. Obtaining funding is a big obstacle one would face as investors lack trust in this industry which has the potential to rapidly grow in this continent.
The gaming industry is estimated to be the largest entertainment industry in the world with projections of worldwide revenues reaching $107 billion this year. There is immense potential for this industry in Africa, especially when utilised for educational purposes.
By Palesa Bogoshi