Local retailer scoops up R1 million at MTN App of the Year Awards 2022

  • Last night MTN hosted Hypertext at its annual App of the Year Awards.
  • A bevy of local and international apps and their developers battled for supremacy across 17 categories.
  • Finally, the app of the year was awarded to Shoprite SA for its fintech solution as well as R1 million in cash.

Last night Hypertext was at MTN‘s Business App of the Year Awards. Africa’s largest telecom spared no expense and there was certainly a lot of pomp and circumstance around some of Africa’s top digital solutions.

App developers and publishers from across the country and from around the world joined the media and MTN staffers at the 11th annual App of the Year Awards at Parktown, Johannesburg. According to MTN, this year’s event was its biggest yet.

Between the plumes of pyrotechnic fire, hard-bodied dancers and gourmet-style dining, the stars of the show were the apps and their developers who battled for supremacy across 17 categories, including Best South African Solution, Best Gaming, Best Health, Best Enterprise, Best Agriculture, Best Educational, Most Innovative and finally the top prize: App of the Year. The winner of this prize was given R1 million by MTN.

The event started with a bang as impi drummers ushered the audience into a video package ending with MTN’s message for South Africa, directly from the mouth of MTN SA CEO Charles Molapisi – “One household, one developer.” Midway through the event, Molapisi appeared before the crowd and gave an impassioned speech.

The plainly dressed executive was adamant that South Africa’s woes could be fixed through upskilling the country’s youth. He said this was MTN’s mission.

“I don’t care if it’s a mansion or a shack, there must be someone in that house that can code an app,” a furious Molapisi said.

“By 2030, we must be able to build as many developers as possible. Enough of the bad news, let’s take our resources and change the fortune of this country. We have the means. One household, one developer,” he reiterated as the audience clumsily tried to follow his motto.

The first award of the night was for Best South African solution, earned by the app that had the most “South African flavour.”

Security solution Eyerus took this prize. The app allows users to indicate how safe or unsafe they feel in their current surroundings, and it even lets them call private security to help them in dangerous situations, or so the app claims.

The Best Enterprise solution was won by My Smart City, a community-focused solution where users can report potholes, accidents and other issues they may face in their communities. Users can even call emergency services on the app.

Educational app Recess won both Best Gaming app and Best Educational app. The gamification-enabled solution that makes preparation for exams more social and fun through virtual avatars.

The well-dressed MTN staffer sat beside us ate his fillet with an eerie calmness as the din of MTN’s pyro and light show continued. And Elvis. So much Elvis.

People’s Choice Award, voted on by the public was won by the world’s first Afrikaans-only dating app Koer. The app’s creators leapt onto the stage with palpable joy and thanked its over 120 000 users for their support.

Best Incubated Solution, through support from Wits’ Tshimologong Precinct, was won by digital lay-buy solution LayUp Payments.

Buzzer Community Safety app won best Health Solution, and Best Agricultural app was won by Axl, an online equipment rental platform.

Most Innovative app was won by Shoprite SA for its fintech offering, MTN says the app is a “unique, ground-breaking and disruptive” solution that brings simple banking to South Africans.

Finally, the overall winner and MTN Business’ App of the Year: Shoprite SA.

Shoprite’s fintech app’s victory came with confetti and a comically large cheque of R1 million for the grand prize. Shoprite Group, which owns Checkers, is one of South Africa’s largest retailers. In March this year, the group reported R91 billion in sales and their revenues are only increasing.

If Shoprite deserved the award was up to MTN’s panel of judges, which included Barbara Engle, a senior software developer from Tshimologong. We were lucky enough to chat with Barbara for a few minutes in the chaos of the event. She told us that MTN had more than 13 judges on its panel.

We ask if smaller developers, perhaps Best Enterprise winner My Smart City or Best SA solution winner Eyerus could have used the million Rand more for their innovative and very much needed apps. However, we are content that South Africa’s app space and the many talented developers therein are at least getting some of the recognition they deserve.

Watch last year’s App the Year Awards below:



About Author


Related News