Ian Mangenga is a designer and the founder of digital hub Digital Girl Africa. She wants to see more women entrepreneurs running businesses online, more content created by women for women and women having an equal stake in the digital economy. She pushes that agenda by educating and connecting young African women in tech.
Mangenga holds a BSc in geography and archaeology from the University of the Witwatersrand, and is pursuing honours in landscape architecture at the University of Cape Town.
Initially, she wanted to study landscape architecture, but getting to learn technical spatial design skills after having gone the social sciences and social justice route has added dimension to her design perspective.
“All of these have made me the multidisciplinary designer and urban thinker I am today,” she says.
Mangena sees the need for her outlook: “I have been creating spaces for inclusion, access and social action for close to five years now. And I’m finally at a point where I can design not just spaces for dialogue and social movements, but sustainable and resilient spaces to live, love, heal and be liberated by merging my interests in science, tech, design and social justice.”
Working as the communications manager at the Parliamentary Monitoring Group stands out for Mangena. Being trusted to enhance public participation and increase access to information about Parliament with her design skills is a highlight.
She says she finds the drive to excel in the need to exist.