Yamkelani Hodo was raised in Langa and joined Christel House in Grade 7. He matriculated in 2021 and is currently doing an internship with software development company, Liminil Labs (based in Hermanus, Cape Town).
Yamkelani comes from a household of nine members and grew up facing many challenges, including the fact that both of his parents were unemployed. During his time at Christel House SA, he found a passion for coding and robotics and was a part of the school's robotics team. In 2020, Christel House SA hosted a ‘hackathon’ coding event alongside industry partners, including team members from Liminil Labs and students from Christel House SA.
As a budding coder, Yamkelani was one of the students chosen to take part in the hackathon event. Using Oracle JET Technology, students and professional coders worked together to build web and mobile applications. Yamkelani, in Grade 11 at the time, made a lasting impression on the Liminil Labs team who quickly recognised his passion and talent for coding. They made the commitment to mentor and provide Yamkelani with additional training in Grade 11 and 12, and eventually offered him a full-time internship position at Liminil Labs when he graduated from high school in 2021.
Yamkelani says, "Growing up in a township like Langa puts you in a cycle of poverty and restricts your ability to dream bigger. I would not have made it in life without Christel House SA's support. They exposed me to a lot of new things and opened my eyes to a brighter future filled with opportunities."
Yamkelani’s internship is focused on modern software development tools. While he is learning to work with these technologies, he is also working alongside the development team to run quality assurance tests on the software that the team is creating. One of Liminil Lab’s key projects is developing a customised learner management system (LMS) for Christel House SA, called Ziva. Designed to give educators and students access to an online ‘living’ curriculum, Ziva is already implemented across various grades in the school and forms a central part of the school’s e-learning curriculum. Yamkelani is honoured to be working on a project that directly benefits his fellow students at Christel House.
The Liminil Labs team expressed their excitement at having Yamkelani join their team. “We are excited to have Yamkelani on the Liminil team and he is a great example of positive attitude and passion that flows out of Christel House,” says Christian McCabe, Liminil Labs.