One of our current students, Joseph Mahiya (studying at Hellenic Academy) came first in the whole of Africa in the DSTV Eutelsat essay competition! His prize is a trip to France, and then onwards to witness a rocket launch!
Joseph joined the Makomborero programme in January 2014. He is a gentle young man, who is confident, polite and has a great vision for his future and for the future of Zimbabwe. He had previously obtained a well deserve scholarship to study up to O-level (GCSE) at a good government school, Kutama. His father works for a company that has been struggling for the past 5 years. Many of their employees have been retrenched and those that have stayed only work for a few days a week and have lost all benefits due to the shortage of funds and lack of business. His family faces huge financial pressures as Joseph’s father supports their extended family too. The Makomborero scholarship has helped to relieve some of this pressure. Joseph loves sport and is on the quiz club at school.
I thought you might like to know a little bit about this intelligent young man, and so I asked him a few questions:
Congratulations Joseph on winning such an amazing prize. How are you feeling?
Well I’m feeling really excited to have won this essay contest in the rest of the continent, some dream that I never thought would come true. So I was quite shocked when I heard that I had made it to the final shortlist. From the beginning I was working hard to produce an apt, error-free essay that will impress the judges hence I did a thorough research and I’m excited that my efforts have been rewarded:)
Please tell us a bit about your family, and your life before Makomborero.
Before being a member of the Makomborero family, I went to a primary school called Chiedza Primary, and subsequently went to Kutama for high school. I reside in a small town just outside Harare and we are an extended family of eight. The only person who goes to work is my father so that’s not sufficient to support us. The school that I went to didn’t offer practical sciences nor the equipment but I needed to do sciences for A-level and therefore through Makomborero I’m now doing my A-levels.
You won this prize for an essay that you wrote. What was the essay about?
So last year(2014) DSTv Multichoice in conjunction with Eutelsat held an essay competition based on satellites as has become a tradition and this is the fourth edition. The first prize is a trip to France and the 2nd prize is a trip to south Africa. Basically the topic was imagining yourself as a satellite orbiting above your own country and prompting you to answer what you would see, what you would like to tell the people below about what you see, what you would like them to think about, what message or picture you could send them, etc. I had quite some knowledge about satellites as I used to do computer science and I managed to finish the 1400 word essay before the due date including references and bibliography.
What are you most looking forward to with your trip to France?
This will be my first time on a plane so I’m nervous and euphoric at the same time. I’m looking forward to seeing the Eiffel tower in Paris, and will take lots of pictures. Then the witnessing of the rocket blast off into the orbit will be amazing as this is a lifetime opportunity when I travel to Guiana.
What do you hope to study at university, and what are your plans for the future?
I’m keen to study for a degree in computer science after school or software engineering as I feel that nowadays technology is the basis for development and that will be the easiest way to give back to the community by introducing things like e-learning, e-government, telemedicine amongst others. Hopefully I will be able to get a scholarship to study in US or UK.
Congratulations Joseph. I hope you’ll tell us more about your travels upon your return.