We’ve always wanted to learn a little bit more about the very famous gadget girl, Nafisa Akabor. She is a freelance technology journalist that writes for incredible publications, always being asked to review the latest gadgets and commonly found on a plane travelling to fabulous destinations.
Tell us more about yourself
Most people don’t know this, but I started my career in travel and tourism. After I graduated in Durban, I worked in the industry for a while, then went to the UK on a working holiday stint. I relocated to Johannesburg afterwards and got into the online publishing space with a writing position at a travel website. I learnt HTML in my spare time, as well as wrote technology pieces for Reporter.co.za (which does not exist anymore) as a hobby. The website submitted a piece of mine for the Telkom ICT Awards and I was runner-up in the Citizen Journalism category. It was at this awards ceremony that ITWeb spotted me and offered me a job to head up a new blogging website they were launching, which also involved writing about technology. Now, 8 years later, I am freelancing as a technology journalist, writing for various online and print publications, as well as contributing to corporate blogs.
I love travelling, playing board games, trying new restaurants, and everything about technology (the internet, gadgets, playing with apps, etc). I also blog here: Wired to the Web.
When and how did your passion for technology begin?
It started when I was very young, first with “TV Games” and then with our first family computer.
As I got into my teens, I started fiddling around like assembling PCs (excitedly setting up the new ones), printers, networking, etc. Everything I know about a PC is self taught. I spent hours going through each folder, deleting stuff, and deleting important stuff that needed Windows reinstalled (my dad banned me from touching the PC after that but it lasted an hour after he needed help with the printer).
We also got connected to the internet in the 90s, so I spent a lot of time on IRC. I’ve been “online” for more than half my life!
What advice do you have for young girls who want to explore a career in this industry?
I think if there is a slight passion, it should be explored. Young girls should not be afraid or intimidated by what they see or get told. Read up as much as you can about a subject you are interested in, follow blogs or industry people online to see what they do. It’s never a bad idea to start a blog about a subject you are passionate about as it could lead to unexpected opportunities.
What’s your favourite?
- Movie – Superman II (purely because I watched it so many times as a kid and know the dialogue!)
- Book – I occasionally read non-fiction so can’t pick a favourite (terrible, I know).
- Website – www.theverge.com
- Mobile App – Any mobile payment app, so SnapScan and Zapper!