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Econet’s startup, Tengai returns online as Ownai

Tengai, Econet, Ownai, Zim Startups, Net neutrality

Remember Tengai, Econet Wireless’ online classifieds startup that caused a bit of a stir with its violation of net neutrality?

Some people might have forgotten the name completely but they might remember how the site was attacked by net neutrality proponents. Tengai was eventually pulled down.

Well, after almost three months it’s back online, but not as Tengai. It’s now called Ownai and is available through the URL


If you are wondering what inspired the name, the website’s about page has this to say,

Ownai is derived from the Shona term ‘Onai’ meaning ‘to see’ and combining that with ‘buy and own it’, we have refreshed the word to be spelt with ‘own’ in it. So once you see something you like on our online marketplace, you can buy it, and own it. Let others also see the stuff you would like to sell! Click on ‘Post a free ad’ to place your ad, let others see it, and get it sold!

From a cursory glance, the site is offering the same set of services as before, thought the variety of content appears to have swelled. The offer for free posting still applies and Tengai Ownai is also selling zero-rated access for Econet broadband subscribers.

It’s also offering 24 hour customer care support, which alludes to a larger investment, something that ties in with the support (no pun) that it will be receiving as an Econet startup.

As can be expected, there is also mention about the safety and security afforded by the site, something that has to be drummed on because of the previous stumble the platform experienced.

The new name also seems to make sense from a damage control perspective. In a way, the name Tengai now represents online security gone wrong, something that is nasty for an online commerce platform.

This  resurrection doesn’t come as much of a surprise though. Even after the Tengai site was pulled down, information about its return had been circulating. At the same time Econet clearly embraced its ownership of the platform.

In its recently published interim financial results, part of the analysts’ presentation highlighted Tengai as a property, along with a host of other Tengai subdivisions like Tengai Logistics which are yet to enter the market.

While everyone waits to see how those other platforms are rolled out, they can now turn to another alternative for online classifieds.

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