An online textbook site, called SIKIO, established in June, was finally launched at the end of September.
Third year BAccSci student, Ndu Nkwanyana (21), who is the co-founder and CEO of SIKIO told Wits Vuvuzela what inspired him to create the site. “At the beginning of the year I realized that I had many textbooks from over the years that I was not using. I decided to give them out for free but at times would struggle to find people who wanted them,” he said.
Nkwanyana added that the overflow of textbooks he had, led to him creating a platform where other students could find a mutual site to sell their textbooks or donate them.
“There are many students on campus that rely on second hand textbooks and some who can’t even afford them, so I thought this website would assist in bridging an existing issue on campus,” said Nkwanyana.
SIKIO is not profit driven, instead the site is being developed to assist student entrepreneurs. “We don’t make any profit from the textbook trade, but rely on marketing strategies to make money which mostly goes towards maintaining the site. We also want to open up the site for student entrepreneurs to advertise their businesses free of charge and intend to open up the site for more established businesses to use the site to advertise at a rate,” he said.
Third year BAccSci student Siyabulela Manengele told Wits Vuvuzela that she’s excited about the website. “I often move around campus looking for textbooks and it sometimes can be exhausting, first looking for people and then being able to get the textbooks at a good price.” Manengele added that the she intends to use the website at the end of the year to sell her textbooks. “I also love that it is a student business run by a black student”, she said.
Nkwanya says students have responded well to SIKIO. “We also got requests from other universities including University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Cape Town and Rhodes University to name a few. They want us to launch a similar platform for their campuses,” he said.
BSc Honours in Applied Mathematics, student Ntokozo Luthuli told Wits Vuvuzela, “The website is a brilliant and innovative idea. I haven’t used it but plan to use the website as a seller at the end of the year end when I clear out my books.”
SIKIO also intends to develop into a website where school leaving students can sell their appliances, such as fridges and lamps. It hopes to become a national student aid for the convenience of students throughout the country.
Written by: Zamayirha Peter
Originally published: witsvuvuzela.com/2017/10/09/wits-student-launch-online-textbook-trading-site