By Nkateko Nyoka*
Few South Africans can recall a time before cellphones with much clarity or perhaps nostalgia. Today, cellphones – and their use in everyday life – are ubiquitous.
Life for Vodacom began in 1993, and it was a time of abundant energy, unbridled ambition and blue-sky thinking. No idea was too big and no notion too far-fetched. The company was built on a bedrock of innovation, in the belief that anything was possible in this new era of mobile communication. The call was to be first-to-market with every new product.
With exponential growth and rapid change in mobile communication, some things haven’t changed at all. Amongst these is our ability to innovate and push the frontiers of technological development, including the creation of a world of ideas for social good. However, we don’t forget where we came from and we need to be big enough to admit that we don’t always get everything right – and where we get anything wrong, we will show remorse and tender our apologies as we did in this saga on numerous occasions.
In the early years of our daring, innovative and revolutionary changes, we made certain regrettable errors of judgment, including the lengthy legal wrangle with a former employee, Nkosana Makate, and the Please Call Me service. Mr Makate’s self-belief and determination saw him navigate his way through th...