Friday 14 May 2021
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The extraordinary Katoshe D30

Alan Kay once said “The best way to predict the future, is to invent it”
Kennedy Liswani (34) is the first Namibian to invent a mobile phone namely Katoshe D30 with several native languages Oshikwanyama, Afrikaans, Otjiherero, Rukavango and many others through his company Elephonic Mobiles. The Katoshe D30 is a national treasure which solves the communication barriers for people who have difficulty in reading and writing English in the country.
Elephonic Mobiles was originated in 2017 and it was established with an objective to solve the problem of accessible mobile communication services by providing high quality mobile devices and technologies to Namibians and African people at large.
Liswani said although dreams are free,  the hustle comes at a hefty price. He added that when he first laid his eyes on his product he smiled as if he was looking at a newly born child, joy took over his heart.
“I spent many years of sleepless nights doing research on how to come up with a mobile phone that can help solve miscommunication and finally I got it right. I then came up with the marketing campaign JOU MA SE KATOSHE which we are planning to launch for the Elephonic Katoshe D30 phone. The brand positioning of the campaign is to emphasize the core focus which is this being the ideal mobile for old people and other people who can’t read and speak English. I wanted a tagline that was authentically Namibian and a bit controversial to attract the necessary attention for our product hence “JOU MA SE KATOSHE,’’ he explained.
He further noted that he opted to create a Katoshe D30 because there were a number of factors involved. A key consideration included the market entry strategy which was premised on creating something affordable first and of high quality and then to gradually move up to smartphone later.
In addition, Liswani said he believes that only innovative African entrepreneurs can solve the problems within their continent with creative solutions. He said the correct order for one to develop a product is not to find customers for the product but rather to find products for your customers.
“If you are creating a product and it looks easy in the eyes of everyone then you are not innovative enough.  I suggest you go back to a drawing board and until they say such a product can’t be made, then you know you have a product worth developing. That’s what I call innovation. Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better,” he explained.
Liswani assured that, the Katoshe D30 takes good quality selfies, its battery lasts longer and it has WhatsApp. The Katoshe D30 is a phone to be owned by people of all classes and for the sake of nationalism he said Namibians should try Katoshe D30 and own a phone made in their country.
“Bringing up my product, my whole project has been self-funded until the stage where we are now. We do not plan to acquire further funding as the demand for our products grow and in order to scale at a competitive pace too,” he expressed.
Moreover Liswani continues by explaining that the challenges they faced mostly had to do with  raising funds and especially due to the fact that he had to fund the projects out of his own pocket. “ It was really difficult but he said that, the main challenge was getting the software to work the way they desired it to work; eventually as a result of entrepreneurial persistence they finally managed.
“In terms of complaints, we are yet to hear about any as it relates to the functions and the service of the Katoshe D30. Put simply, we haven’t received any and for us this is a sign of a great job. The public embraced our product very well, and actually better than expected,” he emphasized.
He also added that in term of selling the product they have a highly creative and strategic way to market and sell their product. They are also using a rather unconventional cost effective and creative way to market and sell their products.
“Retail space for our product is still under discussion but we hope our products will find its way in the shelves of many stores country wide, for now clients can visit  or our social media pages,” he revealed.

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