Winners of the national stage of the 2016 DStv Eutelsat Star Awards competition have been named, with students from schools in Harare, Mutare, Bulawayo and Chishawasha winning accolades for their entries in the poster and essay sections of the competition.
Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said the competition was run at international level, attracting entries from a large number of African countries, as well as at national level, with winners and runners-up in the two sections at both levels receiving prizes.
“We were delighted with the number of entries received for 2016 and judging of submissions from across Zimbabwe has now been completed,” she said.
In the essay category, the 2016 winner is Andile Dube (18), of St Columba’s High School, Bulawayo while the runner-up is, 16-year-old Ruvimbo Jongwe of St Dominic’s High School in Chishawasha . In the poster category, Shaun Matondo (16) of Hartzell High School in Mutare was named winner, and the runner-up is 17-year-old Brandon Murira of Mutare Boys High School.
“We are pleased that the prize winners come from a number of schools across the country and we are hopeful that they will do well in competition against the other countries’ national winners, as their submissions have now gone for consideration at international level,” said Ms Dziva.
The competition is hosted each year by leading pay-TV operator MultiChoice Africa and satellite company Eutelsat, and is aimed at encouraging students to take an interest in science and technology in general and at satellite technology in particular. Since the competition was launched in 2011, Zimbabwean students have fared well at international level with poster and essay sections having been won by Zimbabweans against stiff competition from peers across the continent.
The names of winners at international levels will be announced at a ceremony hosted by the competition sponsors in Lagos, Nigeria, on Tuesday February 7.
Ms Dziva also said an innovative development in the international judging for 2016 entries was the inclusion of a female astronaut on the judging panel. She is Claudie Haignere, former astronaut and French Minister, now special advisor to the European Space Agency director-general. Ms Haigneré will chair the jury for the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards in a move aimed at acting as a strong incentive for female students to live up to their full potential.
Other panel members include Ronke Bello, CEO of Innovative Technology Literacy Services in Nigeria, Rodney Benn, Regional Director for Africa of Eutelsat, Melt Loubser, GM: Broadcast Technology of MultiChoice Africa, Elizabeth Ohene, a journalist and former Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports in Ghana, Professor Stephen Simukanga, a former University of Zambia Chancellor and now Director General of the Higher Education Authority, John Ugbe, Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria and Jenerali Ulimwengu, a well-known writer, columnist and lawyer from Tanzania.