Sgela Saam, the Port Elizabeth-developed app you should know about

BY AFIKILE LUGUNYA - MAY 31, 2017
Sgela Saam, the Port Elizabeth-developed app you should know about

A new locally-developed web application, called Sgela Saam, is aiming to help the Eastern Cape - and South Africa, improve its pass rate by allowing learners and teachers to share study material, which includes past papers and their problem solving methods.

Co-developed by Bongani Mngaza, a 28-year-old from Zwide, in Port Elizabeth, Sgela Saam is itself  a story of  perseverence. 

Growing up in Zwide, Mngaza is familiar with the challenges faced by learners in the townships.

In 2012, while studying IT-Software Development at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univeristy (NMMU), he and a group from his class were assigned a project to design a web application of their choice as their final project before graduating.

“Through the process, we bounced ideas and we ended up making a club music access web,” Mngaza told RNEWS.

Unfortunately, the project wasn’t a success as a result they had to repeat the year - and come up with a new idea.

“Failing is very depressing, when you have to watch the people you were in the same class with, graduating and succeeding while you are sitting and watching because you didn’t do well in the previous year,” Mngaza described.

“But I think it’s good that the previous project failed because now look, Sgela Saam was born.”

According to him, Sgela Saam gives high school learners from grade 10 – 12 an opportunity to ask those questions they were afraid to ask in class. It also even allows them to share information of their own - in the form of Word documents, Excel, PDF and videos, with others.

Before going to write those head hitting exams, students can take quizzes to test their knowledge using Sgela Saam.

Mngaza said that the web application is almost similar in use to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and so on, that many young people use on a daily basis anyway, but it differentiates itself from those by being less destructive.

“Sgela Saam is a least destructive web application and it is immediate as you just search and you immediately get what you are looking for without any destruction's or a waste of time,” Mngaza described.

Sgela Saam was initially named I-Learning and had four co-subject including, Maths, Science, Accounting, and Biology.

“The project was reviewed and revamped to include all high school learning subject and was renamed Sgela Saam.”

Mngaza, chose the name ‘Sgela Saam’ to stand out in the crowd from similar names in other E-learning sites.

“I wanted an Afrocentric name that would stand out, because when you search on Google for learning sites, you find many different things with the word ‘learning’, whereas when you search Sgela Saam, you’ll find that there is only one Sgela Saam,” Mngaza said.

The web application was officially released to the public on the 3rd of May 2017.

“Sgela Saam is growing slowly than I’d expected because most people, who know about this are people of my age group,” he said.

“The project needs a lot of marketing so that school learners can be aware of Sgela Saam, that is why I have been visiting local schools and helping them sign up.”

For more information about Sgela Saam, visit: www.sgelasaam.com