Safaricom’s Please Call Me feature is one of the best SMS products offered by the Kenyan telecommunication giant.
What most don’t know about the service, is that it is an invention of a South African accountant, Kenneth Nkosana Makate, who came up with the idea while working as trainee at Vodacom.
Kenneth Nkosana Makate conceptualized the idea as a way for his girlfriend to alert him to call. This was in 2000, a time when South Africa had expensive call rates.
Vodacom rolled out the service in 2001 as a free service, but it later began charging its subscriber a fee to use the service.
The Please Call Me service became extremely popular in South Africa (was later rolled out in other countries) but sadly Kenneth Nkosana, the inventor, wasn’t compensated for having come up with the product.
This is what led the inventor to sue Vodacom in 2008.
South Africa’s Constitutional Court yesterday (26/04/2016) delivered their verdict that requires Vodacom to reach an agreement with Kenneth Nkosana within the next 30 days.