Mothupi Kgopa is a mathematician who has invented a scientific calculator named Geleza, which uses both solar and battery power.
“The solar power takes first preference to save the life of the battery. The calculator does not need to be charged in the sun and works indoors without a battery,” says Kgopa who is from Polokwane in Limpopo.
He explains that Geleza means ‘go to school’ in township slang.
He believes learners in rural areas spend a lot of money on scientific calculators, and says they are expensive as they cost R320 each. The Geleza calculator will cost the consumer R150.
Kgopa also runs Kgopa Foundation for mathematics, which seeks to instil a passion for mathematics in rural learners. The idea for the scientific calculator was sparked when Kgopa wanted to buy calculators for his learners.
“I spent at least R320 for a single calculator. I tried different ways to get my students affordable calculators and it then hit me that I could turn this quest into a business and Geleza was born.”
He launched Geleza in January through his company, Geleza Tech.
Kgopa holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Computational and Applied Mathematics, a BSc Honours in Mathematics Education, as well as an Honours in Journalism and Media Studies, all from University of the Witwatersrand.
He says it pains him to see learners in rural areas struggling to master mathematics in a world of robotics and coding. “The future relies on mathematics,” he says.
Kgopa has also partnered with Teach South Africa, a public benefit organisation, to fund the donation of
100 000 calculators to disadvantaged learners.
He added that he has received orders for his calculator from Zambia, eSwatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
The Geleza scientific calculator can be ordered online at www.gelezatech.com. For more information on Geleza Tech and the Kgopa Foundation for Mathematics call 011 513 3347, Facebook: Geleza tech and Twitter: @kgopab.