…Schools urged to encourage students to enter competition.
WITH the deadline for entries of the latest edition of the annual DStv Eutelsat Star Continental competition fast approaching next week Monday (12 February),the Eastern Times caught up with Zimbabwe’s last continental winner in 2015, who hails from Mutare, Mallon Marume, and hear about his life after winning the continental competition, which saw him tour the Eutelsat satellite facilities in Paris, France.
Young Zimbabweans will have this week only to finalise entries for the MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat funded international essay-writing and poster-designing contest that has in the past been won by Zimbabwean students.
Eutelsat is one of the world’s leading satellite operators with a powerful fleet of satellites serving users across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Zimbabwe set a record in 2015 and became the first country in the competition to achieve consecutive wins at continental level in 2014 and 2015, a record it still only holds. In the history of the annual competition Manicaland schools have over the years dominated with winners at national level almost every year. In 2015, Marume (who was at Mutare Boys’ High then) scooped the continental poster award becoming the second Zimbabwean to win the annual competition since it started in 2011. In 2014 Joseph Mahiya of Hellenic International Academy in Harare won the competition.
He said his sponsored trip to Paris for two that he went with his father was an eye opening experience he will forever cherish.
“After l got back from France I joined Chinhoyi University of Technology where l’m studying Visual Communication and Multimedia Design.l have been producing many creative artworks and selling them but at low prices because of the economic challenges in the country. But l’m not giving up though because l know hard work eventually pays off. I must however say, my trip to France opened quite a number of opportunities. It gave me exposure. I now believe in myself and l can now confidently say anything is possible until proved impossible, if not the sky is the limit. This trip raised my art standards high,” said Marume.
Marume however said he has been struggling to pay for his studies and sells his artwork to raise funds and help his parents with the school fees.
“My parents are really struggling to pay my fees. l must say this big award was like a turn point to success because quite a number of opportunities have been coming my way and are still coming…The biggest thing l’m fighting for now is to finish my studies well, so that l become a productive citizen of Zimbabwe, but already I am doing some pieces and selling them locally and in South Africa to help pay for my fees. Right now I am actually in Polokwane where my dad works, so l will be staying with him during vacation and selling my artwork,” said the Mutare born and bred Marume.
MultiChoice Zimbabwe publicity and public relations manager Liz Dziva said the deadline for entries was February 12 and no extensions were likely as judging had to take place soon after the deadline to meet the commitment to announcing winners in April.
“We are calling for entries from students aged between 14 and 19 years of age for the latest competition, again focused on stimulating an interest in the use of satellite technology to enhance African lives,” she said.
“This is a competition that is open to young people across Africa, and is one in which Zimbabweans have had particular success over the past few years, with winners and runners-up in the two different sections of the event,” she added.
The competition is aimed at encouraging young people across Africa to focus on the benefits to the continent of satellite technology and to think about careers in science and technology.
This year’s essay and poster design competition is based on the topic, “It has been 60-years since the first satellite – Sputnik – was launched, sending out the unique and well-known ‘beep, beep, beep’ signal. Looking back at this historic moment, write an essay or design a poster depicting how satellites have launched humankind into the 21st century and acted as a unifier.”
The competition is judged at national and international levels, with winners and runners-up in both categories at both levels. The overall international essay winner will be eligible for a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to Paris to visit Eutelsat satellite facilities and thereafter to travel to the Caribbean to view a rocket being launched into space. The winner’s school will receive a DStv installation, including a dish, TV, decoder and free access to the DStv Education package.
The winner of the poster section will win a trip for two to MultiChoice’s offices in South Africa and thereafter to the South African Space Agency at Hartbeesthoek. The winner’s school will also win a DStv installation, including a dish, TV, decoder and free access to the DStv Education package.
“This competition is open to all secondary-level students with an appetite for technology. Entry forms are available at any MultiChoice office, while copies can also be downloaded from www.dstvstarawards.com. Entries are accepted in English, French and Portuguese and will be judged on the basis of high-standard criteria of accuracy, creativity, originality and innovation. We still look forward to see more entries coming through from all over the country, so that we can see the wealth of talent we have in this country doing themselves proud and also giving pride to their parents, schools and the community at large,” said Dziva.
Apart from Zimbabwe other continental winners over the years have come from Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.