Meet Cholwe, co-founder of Team Gematrix, the first Esports Organisation in Zambia founded in 2018, with the vision of creating a platform for talent to grow and nurture their careers and compete with the very best around the world. Gematrix has competed in tournaments locally and internationally in Zambia, Kenya, South Africa, Ireland, and North America and won dozens of tournaments and championships. Cholwe gives us the lowdown on what her favourite part of being in the gaming industry is and what her experience running tournaments have been.
Tell us about yourself Choolwe.
My name is Cholwe Elen Shabukali, I am a self-motivated individual with a passion for all things gaming. I also love learning new things, throwing myself to the challenge as some may put it. I began my esports journey as a co-founder of Zambia’s first esports organisation, Team Gematrix.
How did you discover your passion for games? Does anyone inspire you?
I discovered gaming at a young age (can’t really remember how old I was, maybe 6 or 7 years old) with mostly my cousin and his friends introducing me to games. Contra, Mortal Kombat were some of my first games. I draw inspiration from within myself.
Tell us about Gematrix. How did it come to be?
Team Gematrix was founded in 2018 by Musole Prince and I. At the time, we didn’t exactly know what our business would be. We had the idea of hosting gaming events, but after much thought, we decided to create an esports team that would enable local talents to participate in international esports tournaments. During that period, the local esports scene was basically dead, however, the international scene was booming and we didn’t want to miss out.
We made our tournament debut at the Pro Series Gaming (PSG) tournament in Nairobi, Kenya a month after our official announcement as a team and we won! It was a huge win that inspired not only us but the community as well.
What life lessons have you learned from games?
I’d like to believe that being active in the esports/gaming community has given me purpose. According to Adam Leipzig “The people who knew something about their life purpose, did so because they knew five things: Who they were, what they did, who they did it for, what those people wanted and how those people changed as a result”
I have learnt a lot about myself, that I have a strong passion for all gaming. I believe what I have done has contributed positively to certain people within the community. Some have created earned recognition, monetary benefits and others have created brands – small ones, but brands nonetheless.
What is your favourite part about being in the games industry? Anything particularly interesting about the African games industry?
My favourite part about being in the gaming industry has been the opportunity to meet new people either online or offline. I have met and made amazing friends off online gaming and at offline gaming events.
What has been the most challenging part of organizing, and taking part in tournaments?
The most challenging part has been the lack of support from Zambian locals. We have been getting a lot of support from foreign companies and individuals, but it would be great to get the same level of support and pride from our local entities. The kind of support that makes everyone appreciate that we have an esports team that is representing Zambia around the globe.
You have such a grand vision for Gematrix, how do you stay motivated to work towards your organisation’s goals?
What helps us (Gematrix) stay motivated is the small success along the way. They fuel us to achieve the next thing and then the next and so on. How do you eat an Elephant? A bite at a time – that’s the principle.
What would you like to see more of in the African gaming scene and the gaming scene globally?
I would like to see more teams from the African gaming scene, teams that are willing to put in the work and grow the scene so that the world can see us. On the other hand, it would mean everything for us to be recognized by the global scene, including Africa in Pro Kompetitions, League of Legends worlds, and give us certain servers that could make our online competitive gaming easier.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us? A fun fact?
Fun Fact: I main caustic in Apex Legends and am very sad that he was nerfed. So I had to change my main to another Legend, Shoutout to my in-game Apex Club “Apex Heathens”!
Follow Team Gematrix on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teamgematrixgg/
Watch Cholwe in a recent interview with Johana Riquier where she talks about her growth as an eSports founder since 2018: