‘You need high-level mental and emotional stability,’ says Lorna Mlonzi, a young entrepreneur changing lives with SkyInternet

Cape Town – Lorna Mlonzi is a 29-year-old entrepreneur, who is the founder and CEO of SkyInternet, an internet service provider (ISP) that aims to help provide businesses and local communities with reliable and affordable internet. Originally from Gqeberha, Mlonzi moved to Cape Town in 2003. She attended Groenvlei High School in Lansdowne, and attended Cape Peninsula University of Technology... Read more → The post ‘You need high-level mental and emotional stability,’ says Lorna Mlonzi, a young entrepreneur changing lives with SkyInternet appeared first on African Insider.

‘You need high-level mental and emotional stability,’ says Lorna Mlonzi, a young entrepreneur changing lives with SkyInternet

Cape Town – Lorna Mlonzi is a 29-year-old entrepreneur, who is the founder and CEO of SkyInternet, an internet service provider (ISP) that aims to help provide businesses and local communities with reliable and affordable internet.

Originally from Gqeberha, Mlonzi moved to Cape Town in 2003. She attended Groenvlei High School in Lansdowne, and attended Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). She studied Information and Communication Technology (ICT), where she learnt networking skills and engineering that prepared her for ICT roles.

Mlonzi spoke to African Insider about her journey after leaving high school and how she started her business.

“After matric, because I had no technical experience, I went to work as a sales and marketing specialist, and that was when Cell C came out. That was when I finished with my ICT course at CPUT. We were doing door-to-door sales, helping people with purchasing prepaid airtime and how to best utilise their network to make their lives better. That showed me how much of a gap there was within our community with regards to accessing to information and understanding basic things,” she said.

Lorna Mlonzi

Mlonzi said she initially went out to informal settlements and she felt that she had learnt everything she needed to learn. She pursued a Microsoft sequel server course to help her understand and query certain types of data.

After gaining some further experience, providing tech solutions to businesses, she got the idea to start her own company to help people living in the townships. It was not an easy start, as she had to fund herself when she first started in the industry.

“In 2016, I decided to start my own business, but because funding was not easily accessible in our country, I would utilise whatever money I was getting as a senior business developer and account management roles. I would use my salary to fund the basic administrative costs, market research and running a pilot network to see the dynamics of a wireless network and to have a deeper understanding of some of the technical problems I would encounter,” she said.

In 2021, Mlonzi met her business partner, who helped push her vision into the townships. She launched her network, SkyInternet, in April 2022, a venture that she said they are still working on to make sure they provide reliable and affordable internet services to their clients.

“What we are doing at SkyInternet is we want to change the narrative of affordability. There is money in the townships but we are spending it on the wrong things. Here is uncapped internet and that is the foundation for being able to put yourself out there with unlimited access to internet. That is what SkyInternet is about” she added.

Lorna Mlonzi

 

Mlonzi also gave insight into some of the challenges she faced trying to get into the telecommunication indsutry.

“Funding and coaching were the main challenges I faced because entrepreneurship is not an easy thing. You need high-level mental and emotional stability for you to do anything.  Telecommunication is a predominantly white-dominated and monopolised industry so you really need to have a certain level of knowing oneself and how to navigate within the entrepreneurship environment in order to do anything,” she said.

One of SkyInteret’s main goals is to help people in less-fortunate areas get easy access to internet and information and Mlonzi said that they will be focusing on providing internet to areas such as Manenberg, Khayelitsha, Bonteheuwel, Gugulethu, Langa, Bishop Lavis, and many other areas along the Cape Flats. SkyInternet already partnered with existing fibre network operators who have already installed lines in these areas.

Mlonzi hopes to continue helping people make learning and communicating easier than ever before, especially for those in need.

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Compiled by Matthew Petersen

The post ‘You need high-level mental and emotional stability,’ says Lorna Mlonzi, a young entrepreneur changing lives with SkyInternet appeared first on African Insider.


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