Mzwakithi Shongwe | student
Mzwa (Mm-zwa), or MZ, prefers to introduce his chosen career path as a digital business professional. As someone who has worked in web dev, app dev, monetization, digital marketing, and data analytics, this often feels like the most succinct way to communicate his experience.
As a native of eSwatini (the country formerly known as Swaziland), Mzwa has had the unique privilege to have lived abroad since mid-2010. He spent 7 years in the U.S., first in New Mexico at UWC USA, then four years in Vermont pursuing his BA (Hons.) in International Politics and Economics. Somewhere during his undergraduate career, Mzwa picked up Brazilian Portuguese and co-founded a social enterprise that introduced portable lap desks to overcrowded schools in eSwatini. He then spent mid-2016 to mid-2017 working in Washington, DC, as a business analyst at Kearney, a management consultancy, before moving back to pursue a tech career in Africa’s growing start-up scene.
After a brief stint as a business advisor consultant, one of Mzwa’s clients offered him the post of Head of Monetization and Commercial Products at their start-up in Nairobi, Kenya. During that time, Mzwa helped build the company’s ad-tech ecosystem, introducing programmatic advertising and signing deals with clients in Europe, China, East, and Southern Africa. It was during his time at Hivisasa that sparked a passion for product development and crafting digital experiences. After moving back to Southern Africa in early 2020, Mzwa launched Caracali Consulting, a digital consultancy business aimed at providing digital transformation services to MSMEs. Through his work at Caracali, Mzwa has worked with one of Africa’s most recognized music festivals, MTN Bushfire, on a variety of projects including building a revamped in-festival app as well as other soon-to-be-launched products. He has also worked with clients in South Africa, Kenya, the U.S., and Canada on projects ranging from product development to market launch strategy.
At the CDM, Mzwa hopes to strengthen his fundamentals in UX/UI, project management, digital asset production, product management, and cross-cultural collaboration. Mzwa is most excited about the client-facing project experience the MDM degree caters to, which is still a rarity amongst the few graduate degrees in digital media programs in the world.
When not searching for new music on SoundCloud or Bandcamp, Mzwa enjoys fine-tuning his mixology skills and trying his hand at short stories and music production.