Zim student wins trip to Paris rocket launch site

HARARE – Zimbabwean student Joseph Mahiya, the winner of Pan-African DStv Eutelsat Star Awards Essay Category says his victory is “the stuff that dreams are made of.”

Winning the pan-African competition which seeks to spark interest in science and space technology in young African students, has earned Mahiya a trip to a rocket launch site in Paris where he will witness a rocket blast into space to place a satellite into orbit.

Young Mahiya could not hide his excitement in an interview with the Daily News yesterday.

“I am-super excited. I am sure it is difficult for you to understand how I am feeling right now,” he said.

“I didn’t know that you could go to France by merely using just a pen and paper.

“It’s such an exciting experience.”

Mahiya beat João Nuno Freire Melo (Angola) into second place.

As part of his prize, the Angolan youngster will visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African National Space Agency near Johannesburg.

In the poster category, Lesley Chakurira of Lomagundi College in Chinhoyi was beaten into second place by Hannah Kasule (Uganda).

The young Ugandan has earned a trip to Eutelsat in Paris.

The four schools, which produced the winners and runners-up in the essay and poster competitions, were rewarded with a DStv installation, including dish, TV set, PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet.

Lovemore Mangwende, the Multichoice Zimbabwe chief executive officer, has hailed Zimbabwean students for putting the country on the map.

“I would like to congratulate two students in particular, because they have emerged victorious at pan-African level.

“First of all, Joseph Mahiya, an 18-year-old student right here at the Hellenic International Academy, who has been named overall winner of the essay category of the competition.

“And secondly, let me commend the overall runner-up in the poster category, Lesley Chakurira of Lomagundi College, Chinhoyi,” said Mangwende.

“I would also like to extend congratulations to the others who have excelled in the country level of this pan-African competition who include Marlon Marume from Mutare Boys High School, and Beverley Saungweme from Hartzell High school.

“As well as the many other students from around Zimbabwe who made the effort to enter the competition and whose efforts are equally deserving of commendation and praise.”