The evolution of Tololi

From an Instagram store to a tech-solution provider
The youth-led tech start-up has expanded its territory to aid in connecting 500 smallholder farmers to relevant markets.
Jemimah Ndebele
The push of a shopping cart led to the materialisation of dreams and the creation of impactful change for 27-year-old Tololi Online founder, Fillemon Nangolo. Initially driven by the prospect of financial freedom, Nangolo established Tololi, an e-commerce marketplace tailored for our local market. Since it’s establishment as a closed corporation in July 2019, Tololi has morphed over time to not only create a pleasant experience for their clientele but to also make a difference through the use of technology.

As such, the enterprise partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme office in Namibia to aid in connecting 500 smallholder farmers to relevant marketplaces online.

“This partnership required us to diverge from the initial goal of individual financial freedom, and add the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 2, which is about creating a hunger-free world by 2030. This is also a great motivator for me and my team as we have been given a role and a responsibility in reaching this much coveted goal,” Nangolo said in an interview with Namibia Media Holdings.

Tololi, initially started as an Instagram business, pivoted in the past year from an online retailer to a tech start-up aimed at developing technological solutions for developing countries.

The Tololi team comprises of six full-time members.

“We started in my bedroom, here in Windhoek West. Then I moved out of the bedroom and we turned that into the office. The team grew so we had to move the office into the main house, but we only booked out two of the rooms to keep the rental costs low. We rent from my mom, and my mother is a traditional black woman, which means she doesn’t play when it comes to us paying rent,” Nangolo jokingly added.

Upon being questioned about the enterprise’s future plans, he explained that the ever-evolving nature of technology can lead to them changing their trajectory at any given time depending on global happenings.

“There’s no way for me to tell, at least not for two years. What I can say, though, is that we are keeping an eye on news and developing stories to make sure that we stay ahead of the changing tides. We cannot jump onto every trend, but we will focus on making sure our services are the best they can be for those we serve.“