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‘Buy, sell, write, publish’ app set to empower students and aspirant writers

A 25-year-old entrepreneur, Nkcubeko Noyila, says her new app ‘Rebooked’ – which connects buyers and sellers of second-hand academic books – provides access to information and tools that are necessary for both academic and personal advancement.

The app will be available to Apple and Android users from 15 October.

“The initial idea was to offer students a chance to connect with other students and advertise venues where they could meet to do transactions for textbooks,” she says.

However, safety considerations related to this approach made it necessary to build a safe online payment mechanism into the app, she adds.


Noyila, who is from the Eastern Cape town of Molteno, says the app was developed in 2019 and has evolved to cater for all book lovers, including bookclub members.

Recounting her academic journey, which encouraged her to develop the app, she says: “Many of us couldn’t buy the books we needed because textbooks could cost well over R1 000.

“So we had to borrow and share books or spend countless hours at the library to read them. This obviously made studying and passing subjects difficult.”


Noyila says it took a year for the app to be structured and another year for it to be developed, with the assistance of MTN’s mentorship programme.

She says users will also be able to write and design their own books on the app thanks to a new feature that will be introduced in 2023.

Vision, and recognition

“I see Rebooked becoming a place where even aspiring authors can self-publish and market their e-books and traditional paperbacks, or [as] a space for hosting live and virtual seminars for future writers and established authors to talk about their work and inspire others.”

Noyila recently won R100 000 for her Rebooked app at the 2022 MTN SA Women in Digital Business Challenge.

She says she will use the prize money to establish the Rebooked brand and travel to major university campuses to market its features and benefits.

“The balance will be used to improve the app and incorporate other features that will make it attractive to even more users. Plans for a second app are also on the way.”

MTN SA Foundation senior manager of education and community programmes Angie Moloka says Noyila is proof that one’s location is not a barrier to building a future.

“Her inquiring mind and the fact that she had to learn how to code before working on Rebooked is testimony to her determination to succeed,” says Moloka.

“This has been something apparent in each of our 10 winning women.

“It is gratifying that while she has carved a niche in the IT world, she has also helped thousands of other people to study towards their academic qualifications.”

Serial entrepreneur

Noyila says her entrepreneurial spirit comes from her late father, who encouraged her to work for his business and taught her the ropes.

“When he passed on, I learnt that no one is going to save me or fund the vision I have. It was completely up to me.”

She says she got into the world of business at the age of 19 and has since started six businesses, three of which remain active; they are focused on construction, beauty and cosmetics, and technology.

“I am learning to master one thing in each sector. But with this app, I’m hoping it will encourage young people in South Africa to start writing about who we are and searching to find out more about our histories,” she says.

“There is no limit to learning and becoming an author. I hope the app encourages people to put information out there.”

Read: Moneyweb app competes with the best

Listen to this MoneywebNOW podcast with Simon Brown:

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.

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