Innovation comes in many forms, shapes and sizes and Zimbabwe has witnessed its own fair share of innovators through the years.
Every idea needs a platform upon which it can be showcased to gain traction and there are noble entities that exist as enablers to ensure innovators get the exposure they need.
One entity, aptly named Free Web Hosting Africa (FWH), has been doing just that in Zimbabwe and South Africa for over a year now.
Founded in 2018 by brothers, Bukhosi Mhlanga and Mbekezeli Mhlanga, FWH acquired over 1500 clients who have their websites and emails hosted 100% free.
The layman will be wondering what makes this hosting business newsworthy.
There are 1.74 billion websites globally and Zimbabwe accounts for less than 1% of this. Zimbabwe product and service industries have the potential to earn foreign currency if they have access to global markets.
This offering is well suited for small enterprises as well as artists who may wish to own or run their own websites. One can purchase a domain via the Free Web Hosting platform or alternatively transfer an existing domain from a different host also free of charge.
In addition to these free resources, the hosting package is WordPress compatible, the most popular and very user-friendly Content Management System meaning anyone can literally create and maintain their own website at zero cost.
As expected, there are limitations to free hosting that go beyond resources. The FWH platform runs on a control panel called Plesk which is less popular and less user-friendly than the well-known cPanel.
Despite a really good record of uptimes, where websites are constantly online, there are periodic downtimes as well as email issues that may come up. To counter this, the Mhlanga brothers also introduced a paid hosting platform, Nivacity, for corporates and companies who can afford to pay for their hosting and prefer more resources.
Over the years the FWH team has grown from merely 2 co-founders to a team of 8 individuals, to include renowned marketer Kudzanayi Thondhlana.
Such growth has seen the organisation promising that their services will be continually improving in the near future.
The company announced today that they have engaged acclaimed Zimbabwean comedian Carl Joshua Ncube as their brand ambassador and that this will go a long way in bridging the gap between content creators and techpreneurs.
Carl had this to say,
This is one of the best fits as DATA, BANDWIDTH, HOSTING are like big vehicles that require lots of fuel…Content is the fuel. I am excited that Freewebshosting realise the relationship between HOSTING and CONTENT. I am super excited and humbled to be made the face of growing Zimbabwe and African business online. This is also an opportunity to use this partnership to build and change the narrative of our country and transition ourselves to being associated with TECH!”
It waits to be seen how well they will fare in the cutthroat hosting industry in Zimbabwe.