He didn’t have a background in software programming, and when he first got into coding, “I didn’t even have a laptop or a computer. I couldn’t even pay for the internet,” he says.
But, Churchill Nanje would go on to become the founder of one of Africa’s biggest job search engines, njorku(dot)com.
Unlike other such sites, Njorku does not host the jobs – instead, it searches the internet for them, making it suitable for use anywhere on the continent.
“Basically we are like a Google search engine for jobs in Africa. Recently, we saw a lot of traffic from Sudan, like 500 users daily. I don’t even know how they got to us,” he says.
Njorku has served more than 2 million users across 11 African countries, in the five years that have passed since Nanje set up the site in his bedroom in Buea, south-west Cameroon – the city that has produced more tech startups than anywhere else in the country, and is respectfully referred to as Silicon Mountain.
For a man who taught himself to code, and who during his teenage years would hang around internet cafes until the owners gave him free access, he has come real far – being able to start his first company, AfroVision, an IT consultancy at age 20.
AfroVision was a success and it’s out of its limitations that Churchill Nanje found the inspiration for Njorku.
“From there I was able to get skills, make money, get a house for myself, get a business, employ people, pay taxes and even take care of my younger brothers; put them through school and everything,” he revealed.
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