Hello, welcome to my personal website.
For inquiries & opportunities, get in touch at hello [at] rebeccamqamelo [dot] com
Short third-person bio
Rebecca Mqamelo is a South African designer, technologist and investor. Her work is an ongoing practice of reimagining economic alternatives rooted in community resilience, blending a background in data science, architecture and research. Previously she was Co-founder and Head of Product at city3, a civic technology startup based in Oakland, California; Head of Growth at Zerion, a web3 wallet and investing app; and an independent researcher with the Grassroots Economics Foundation in Kenya, where she led the world’s first experimental research on crypto-based community currencies as a form of universal basic income. She studied computational science and economics at Minerva and grew up in Mthatha.
Much longer personal bio
You're equally likely to find me backpacking through Rajasthan, doing the samba in Seoul, making umqombothi in rural Transkei, or building businesses in Accra. For as long as I can remember, "merging worlds" has been a core part of my identity. I grew up in South Africa and spent my childhood moving between the potholed streets of Mthatha, the capital of a former Apartheid homeland, and my family's rural home in a village called Enkalweni.
When I was 13, I packed off for boarding school and discovered my passion for oratory. I represented South Africa on several national debate and public speaking teams, and this is how I started travelling. I went on to study economics and computational science at Minerva, an institution that turns tertiary education on its head with flipped online classes, experiential learning, and semesters located in a different global city. Since then, from Silicon Valley to Tokyo to rural Kenya plus everywhere in between, my work has been an ongoing practice of reimagining economic alternatives rooted in community resilience.
It's also been a practice of integrating liminality in all its forms. I'm a biracial woman who learned to love the sometimes difficult and sometimes magical spaces found between worlds of culture, religion and place. I've learned to embrace the fact that whatever hat I wear – artist, economist, systems designer, daughter, friend – the worlds I create invariably emerge from this wonderful place of in-betweeness.