Lucky Kgwadi is the co-founder and president of Ekasi-Bucks, a blockchain-based rewards programme that incentivises township residents to buy from affiliated township businesses. 

The Blockchain enthusiast’s initial idea was to build a mall, but when he couldn’t get funding for the project, he changed his strategy and diverted to building a digital mall. Ekasi-Bucks offers a virtual marketplace for township businesses to sell their products in exchange for Ekasi-Bucks tokens. 

The crypto-mall has already received more than 800 applications and more than 200 applications for its shuttle taxi services for the townships.

Ekasi Bucks services the unbanked low-income earning communities by enabling them to participate in the mainstream economy by the introduction of Blockchain banking, Peer-to-Peer & Business-to-Business payments over the Blockchain.

Kgwadi said growing up in in the Mabopane township, Pretoria he observed the challenges faced by township businesses and set out to create a platform to address some of those socio-economic challenges.

The serial entrepreneur maintains that an unwavering support structure has fuelled his determination to succeed against all odds. He is motivated by the belief that waking up healthy every day is a sign that God has given him another day to make a difference.

Entering the digital space was not an easy task, as Kgwadi and his business partner Edgar Lebelo did not come from an IT background. When they started Ekasi-Bucks, they had no money to pay an IT specialist to build the website, develop the app and set up the system that they required, so they taught themselves how to code using C++ and Java. 

Kgwadi’s vision is to contribute towards changing the mindsets of township youth, instilling a ‘can do’ attitude. Additionally, he’d like to contribute towards a cashless SADC community driven through digital innovations by collaborating young innovators.