Founder, KAT-Q, Arduino Cape Town and Modern Alchemists
Robyn Farah is committed to pushing hardware and tech growth to better Africa. “I have always done what I love, even if that meant doing it during lunch breaks, and after hours while working a nine-to-five. If you do what you love it doesn’t feel like work, but passion and a need that must be fulfilled.”
While her main business, KAT-O, builds hardware prototypes for clients, Farah also started and runs two of South Africa’s most active tech/maker communities: Arduino Cape Town and Modern Alchemists.
“I started ArduinoCT a month after returning to SA in 2012 after meeting an awesome group of people at the Science Hack day who wanted the same thing. They helped start it, but I continued to run it. I was then approached by Niel Bekker to find teachers for Arduino courses at Curiosity Campus, after all the people I suggested let him down. I felt so awful I agreed to teach for him and a year-and-a-half later we become business partners. ”
She recently started Women in Tech Cape Town and is also a partner in Curiosity Campus, which teaches people all sorts of tech skills from Python to building and coding your own robot and creating VR (virtual reality) environments.
In 2015, she was invited to be a guest lecturer at MIT and to attend the World Maker Faire in New York.
“My main interests are the future and how tech can improve all fields, from biohacking to renewable energy,” elaborates Farah. “To me makers are important, because there is a sense of unity and collaboration in a non-judgemental space where anyone is free not just to dream but to see their dreams come to life. We need to make more, collaborate more, show off our work and we need to make a bigger effort to bridge all divides, to include women and people from less advantaged and different backgrounds than our own.
“Connecting South Africa and Africa and really, really pushing to put us on the tech scene globally is vital. This means making people around the world aware of the ground-breaking stuff we are achieving right here at home.” — Tiana Cline
Photo: Audio Visual Alchemy
Twitter: @RobynFarah or @KickAssTechObv Facebook: facebook.com/RobynFarah or /KickAssTechObv Website: robynfarah.com or KAT-O.net