Maxwell Noge believes that everyone deserves a break, regardless of their economic status. He is the man who made it possible for ordinary families to be entertained by accessing the world of digital satellite television. It was in 2016, while he was working as a Chief Digital Officer, when Maxwell first pitched the idea of “open view” digital television to his then employer. His employer did not buy into the idea at first, and Maxwell put more time and research into his vision of creating a once-off payment package to enable low-income families to afford satellite television. He went on to design a network for DSTV Openview HD and put a business case together that was eventually supported by government. The result was a beautiful story where even ordinary South Africans have access to DSTV. It was his passion for working with people on the ground and giving opportunities to underserved communities that motivated him to see his dream becoming a reality.
Maxwell’s story starts with him, a young boy from a village in Limpopo, arriving in Durban by train in the 1990s with nothing but a suitcase full of dreams and bold ambitions. Considering his family background and upbringing, he said MUT was the “best choice” for him – a family environment that made him feel at home whether he was at the residence or in the lecture room.
Ironically, his study choice and future career were shaped by his first-ever encounter with a public telephone at Durban station, when he had to call a family friend to get directions to MUT for registration. He had not yet decided what qualification he wanted to pursue, and the “telephone moment” encouraged him to register for electrical engineering, light current. Standing in the registration queue without even having applied to study at MUT, Maxwell was so sure that electrical engineering was what he came to MUT for that he refused to leave the queue – and even started crying uncontrollably at one point. He believes this determination was what attracted the attention of the former head of electrical engineering, Mr Des Mack, who helped him secure a bursary which included a computer.
His journey was further shaped by the telephone because his sponsor was the telecommunications company, Vodacom, who also took him in for his year of in-service training. What was meant to be a one-year training turned into a permanent job in the space of just three weeks. Maxwell’s work ethic and dedication impressed his supervisor so much that he gave him a permanent job with full benefits even before he finished his diploma.
Maxwell graduated in 1999 and spent just eighteen months with Vodacom before joining another telecommunication company where he was based in Tanzania and spent three years building telephone networks. He later moved to Mozambique to join a team to build and set up communication networks there.
When we talk of big dreamers, Maxwell comes to mind. He has built a very colourful career in the telecommunications industry, starting at the bottom as a trainee and working his way up to executive level. Amongst his big achievements is being promoted three times in a space of three years, and working as an executive to a team of over 400 employees. Another milestone was leading the 2010 World Cup broadcast programme.
Maxwell is a world-class executive with a global business view. He has chosen to work hard and be hands-on in all aspects of his work. In 2018 Maxwell left the corporate sector to work on a long-term project in the medical field with an American partner. His early dream of ensuring that people are equally connected and entertained has been realised through his many years in the telecommunications and information technology sector.