A video game developer has been appointed to lead Wits University’s video game incubation programme.
The Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct at the university has brought in Raymond Ledwaba, founder of ITThynk Gaming, an SME that develops African games for a global audience, to oversee its innovative incubation project.
Ledwaba says that, across the world, the online mobile-gaming industry is on the rise. The sector was expected to be worth $1.4-billion by the end of 2022, with annual growth of 20% until 2030. Africa’s gaming industry has followed the same trend, thanks to greater access to smartphones and increased Internet penetration.
ITTHYNK Gaming was founded in 2021 as part of ITTHYNK Smart Solutions, a software development and consulting services firm that Ledwaba founded in 2005.
He is a chartered accountant and holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. He is also a Mandela Washington Fellow, former President Barack Obama’s flagship programme for young African leaders.
“The inspiration for ITThynk Gaming came during an eSports tournament,” says Ledwaba. “It was at this event that I realised how few authentically African video games are available to the market. Since realising this, I have made it my mission to develop this sector.”
The process behind developing sound, entertaining video games requires a talented team of developers, plenty of room for testing and the right selection of quests. But often, the biggest challenge is securing capital.
To mitigate this obstacle, ITThynk Gaming opted to become a part of the MultiChoice Accelerator programme, eventually emerging as one of six winners. This programme aims to develop and connect African SMEs with global investors to unlock scalable business opportunities.
Since completing the programme, ITThynk Gaming has secured its first round of funding. Ledwaba says the capital will be used to realise the team’s dream to become a household name in the African gaming industry.
“Developing video games from scratch requires a significant capital investment. By successfully completing the MultiChoice Accelerator programme, I got the opportunity to meet with investors and raise the capital I needed to build this gaming business. Now, we have the resources to become competitive in this market.”
Ledwaba hopes ITThynk Gaming will open doors for other African creatives. So far, it has trained more than 30 young people and incubated five start-ups.
“It’s our goal to provide opportunities for digital creatives across Africa,” says Ledwaba. “We took another step towards realising this dream when ITThynk Gaming was appointed by one of Africa’s most influential universities to manage their video-game-development incubation programme.”
Raymond Ledwaba says that the future of video-game development in Africa is alive with possibilities. He is thankful for the opportunities afforded by the MultiChoice Accelerator programme.
“I have had the chance to meet fellow entrepreneurs. Now, I have a network of people who inspire and motivate me to keep pushing, despite any challenges that might come my way. In the end, I’ve learnt to have faith and trust the process.”