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Vuya carries a price tag of just R1 500 and is developed with one of South Africa’s most widely available resources in mind: the sun. The tablet relies on a solar charger (which is bundled with the device) as well as traditional electricity power outlets.
Apart from having a very nice ring to it, Vuya means “be happy” in isiXhosa.
The company hopes that its tablet will increase the participation of Africans in the digital economy. Millbug notes that it wants to help catalyze the rise of the African producer instead of celebrating the rise of the African consumer.
Launched in 2012 by Sabelo Sibanda and Thulisile Volwana, Millbug was developing an ecommerce platform which initially focused on selling fashionable women’s clothing.
The company is incubated at the Port Elizabeth chapter of Shanduka Black Umbrellas and has over the years learnt valuable insights on eCommerce, internet proliferation and technology use habits across the continent.
Volwana, who’s COO of Millbug, recons, “People are more inclined to purchase tactile products online from devices with larger screen sizes e.g. tablet PCs, laptops and desktops and are more inclined to purchase digital content from mobile devices e.g. tablet PCs and mobile phones.”
The Wi-Fi-only tablet is described as being both “rugged” and aesthetically pleasing. If you’re into the technical specifications, the 7″ Vuya houses a 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of storage and Android’s latest operating system KitKat 4.4.
While getting South Africans on to the ecommerce horse seems to be the primary focus of this device, Millbug is also buttering it up to be an educational tool.