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Lihle Mpapela is the quiet presence steadily keeping technical things ticking from his corner of the Axium office. Focussed on software development, he puts his skills towards improving organisational operations as best he can, and has recently taken up the team's leadership.

“We are trying to develop some systems that will make everyone’s work easier,” he said, specifically speaking about the databases needed for storing information.

Local to Zithulele, Lihle grew up just down the road from the office where he now works, completing high school in Mqanduli before going on to do his degree in Computer Systems at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria.

Although he initially began this course because he had qualified for it and thought he should "give it a go", he soon found himself enjoying programming a lot. Not a big reader, Lihle prefers doing things practically and especially enjoys coding and the problem solving dimensions of his role.

In his spare time, he enjoys doing online courses. Intent on developing himself further, seeking more pressure, exposure, and challenges, his dream is to become a programmer who makes applications or games that are widely used.

During 2017, Lihle balanced developing his final university project with his work at Axium, finding a way for them to be connected. He created a fingerprint system for tracking school attendance. “For them to approve your project it has to solve a certain project that people are facing so you have to think deeply about it,” he said.

“Working in an environment like Axium is fine for learning. It helps you in many ways, actually, because you get to know people, how they think and do things, how learners act towards things they aren’t used to,” he said.

Lihle became involved after Axium contacted him through contact with Craig towards the end of his studies, requesting that he do his internship with them. His is now a familiar voice in the office, often quietly delivering some humorous input to whoever is lucky enough to be within earshot.

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