A university student by the name of Aluwaine Manyonga was graced at Lux Award as the winner of the Society of Light and Lighting Young Lighter of the Year for 2020. Aluwaine Manyonga is a fourth-year electrical engineering undergraduate at the University of Zimbabwe who works with Emmanuel Consulting Engineers in Harare, Zimbabwe.
For the first time, the SLL Young Lighter final was held online with all four finalists delivering their presentations virtually to an international audience. Manyonga delivered his presentation, Offgrid Solar Lighting, and Chigubhu Lantern, Africa’s Education System Game Changer, during the 2020 LuxLive Digital Festival.
The factors that led to his win are that his proposal not only supports the introduction of solar-powered lighting systems but seeks to tackle plastic and electronic waste through the re-use with the ingenious Chigubhu (Chigubhu is a Shona word for plastic container or water bottle) Lantern. His presentation outlines the resources required, set up, and ongoing maintenance with a methodical and informed approach.
Manyonga’s projects seek to utilize competitive pricing of solar-powered solutions, developing a clean and reliable light source to positively impact the education system. The advantage of the project is that the ingenious Chigubhu Lantern uses plastic waste to create low-cost housing for solar-power LED luminaires.
Looking at the concepts stated above and more he presented, the judges were all very impressed by the social value of Aluwaine’s project. “We thought he showed immense initiatives, as well as technical know-how, using limited resources to create something that will improve the lives of a huge number of people in areas with insecure electricity networks. Aluwaine’s work reminds us of how lighting can make the world a better place.” This was a window of Aluwaine’s success and winning the competition as it revealed young talent.
This year’s finalist included Aleix Llenas with his project, Spectrally Tunable Lighting for the Real World: A UK Case-study in Tracking Human Behavior and Implications for Future Technology; Giorgia Rossi with her project, Open Beams: A laser Lighting System for Future; and Dipali Shirsat with her project, Redefining the Image of a city: Lighting for Disabled Spaces. You can watch the presentations on the Lux Review website.
Zimbabwean Born Harvard Graduate Launches Hitch-Hiking App
Hope was born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and he did his A level at Mpopoma High School and O level at Ihlathi High School. Apart from his academic successes, he was also a multi National Chess Scholars Champion winner. Hope later on received a scholarship to go and study at the Harvard
University and just after college he went on to found Tuverl which has to date received several awards and recognition. They recently came out first at the Georgetown Africa Business Conference Pitch Competition which was
held in early February 2020 at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Tuverl also won the World Bank Youth Summit Pitch Competition in early December 2019 held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC.
In mid-December 2019 Tuverl also won the YouthConnekt Sustainable Development Goals Video Competition. They have also participated in several pitch competitions, winning the Fan Favourite prize at the RevRoad Pitch Competition in Provo, Utah, and finishing 3rd place at the Harvard China Forum Pitch Competition in Cambridge, Massachusetts in early April 2019. Tuverl participated in the Mass Challenge Accelerator Boston Cohort in 2018 and were part 10th cohort of Halcyon Incubator Program from January – June 2019. Tuverl is also a recent Startup Battlefield 2020 finalist, the pitch competition was held virtually in September 2020.
It can’t be innovation without problem-solving and Turvel application is there to solve or address a wide range of problems. In most African countries, Public Transport is an industry that is run by private companies; millions of small to medium enterprises and individuals, whose buses, minibusses, and individual cars operate without any schedules or timetables. This makes Public Transport very unreliable to commuters, who lose valuable productive time while waiting for transportation or in transit, as a result. Drivers also waste time, fuel, and man-hours trying to locate
commuters along their designated routes or park in one place waiting for commuters to find them.
This is highly inefficient. The Covid-19 era came with new and many
challenges for commuters as Public Transportation was grounded by the government to minimize non-essential movement and reduce the risk of exposing the public to the Coronavirus. This left people who do not own their own personal vehicles with few to no options for safe essential travel.
While some have welcomed the reintroduction of ZUPCO as the sole provider of Public Transport, there have numerous complaints about long lines at bus stops, too few buses in circulation, and the general lack of social distancing while in transit.
After assessing these challenges in the 1st few months of the covid19 pandemic, Tuverl went on to develop its intercity carpooling service that is meant to make travelling safer, easier and cheaper during the Covid19 pandemic. After downloading and signing up on the Tuverl App, commuters can search for peer-to-peer trips that originate from a city or town of their choosing to another city or town in Zimbabwe. They can pay for these trips using mobile money payments, such as Ecocash, OneMoney and Telecash.
We plan to support more payment methods in due course. On the Tuverl App, users who have their own personal vehicles can register to be drivers.
Once registration is complete and their profiles have been verified, drivers can create trips from one city or town to another. Drivers have control over the pricing of the available seats in their vehicles. As such drivers can make
extra money during a trip they were already planning to make. Picking up passengers along the road, when drivers travel on pre-planned trips between cities and towns is an old practice. Most Zimbabwean commuters know this as hitchhiking or simply hiking.
Tuverl has found a way to make it a lot easier for drivers to find commuters or passengers, by adding a technology layer that makes it faster for drivers to connect with commuters. As the economy opens up, Lockdown regulations are relaxed, and travel restrictions are removed, it is important to give commuters more options for travelling safely. Commuters and drivers can download the Tuverl App on the following links.
People who are interested in our work can follow
us on the following links.
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/
Engineer Creates WhatsApp API That Runs Your Entire Business Line
The Covid-19 lockdown has been a bad time for most of the people and it was a dark cloud that continues hovering among many of us but still to some they never quit on their goals, they remained or at least came out of the lockdown with innovations, products, ideas, etc. I was engaging in one of the Twitter posts on what people had done and achieved during the lockdown and going through some of them, I was caught my attention with one and I could not hesitate to reach out for more and possibly for a feature in the magazine. It is all about inspiring others and sharing African success stories.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, imagine the amount of business that is going on WhatsApp and the amount of work and time needed to respond to the ever-coming messages and inquiries. Can’t we think of an innovation and solutions to this, and thanks to Sabelo who utilized the Covid-19 lockdown to fine shape his idea of creating a Whatsapp API that can run your entire WhatsApp business line?
Speaking on what inspired him, he had this to say, “The idea was to build an AI model to interpret African languages so that we can type them on google and social media without autocorrect then it hit me that chatbots are becoming a thing and every business has a WhatsApp line. So I figured why not build an API that can run your entire WhatsApp line for businesses.”
The WhatsApp API is the brain-child of 26-year-old Sabelo Gabela from Durban in South Africa. He did computer engineering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of PSG Technology. Sabelo is an all-around tech guy who can build all forms of hardware and software technology.
Sabelo seems not to be looking back and has bigger plans for his startup projects, “From next year onwards, I will do a rollout for all social media platforms so that even influencers can have someone to filter their DM’s and be able to know when big brands are trying to get in touch with them. This would also help big companies manage their customer care lines on social media”
Speaking on the timing of his API had this to say, “Well I think I built it in the most un-certain time possible, during the pandemic. A lot of people like it but they don’t understand it since it’s a very new thing but I’ve managed to get 3 customers for it but I’m also in talks with a lot more and I’m steady working on it because the model is a bit far from completion”. Three customers seems a good start especially for someone who is running on a low budget and marketing and in most cases possibly using his own personal finances. Currently, he has got 2 clients who are currently using his API, a medicine delivery business, and a live video streaming platform.
The engineer is driven by passion and big dreams to provide solutions and simplify things. Speaking on the main reason for the WhatsApp API, Sabelo had this to say, “The idea was to have a WhatsApp version of uber, deliveries and job portals. I even made a smart home version where you can control appliances using WhatsApp. I’m building a small ‘Apps must fall’ movement. I feel like there are way too many apps out there yet the most valuable app on people’s phones is WhatsApp so why not focus on that.
And also considering that sometimes people search and type in colloquial, slang, and mixed languages it will not be always an easy task building something that factors in everything but the engineer seems to be dedicated to improving the efficiency of the API in that regard. “Language has been a big factor and coming up with a way to train the model with slang and processing it right has been tough. I’m constantly juggling between that and keeping the business going. I run a startup so it has its own challenges. I wish I could take on more but equipment is an issue so I’m also looking at funding institutions and investors to help with that.”, Sabelo added.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, Sabelo seems to be a man of faith and action and undoubtedly he is going to get the future he desires. “My wish is to have a foothold in African tech, I think we will be at a point where we have a large enough network where it can have a huge impact on society at that time. I am working with other startups to create cool products so in 2 years I think we will start seeing the impact of them and how it is of benefit to society. I also want to have a number of young aspiring developers under my wing who are going to also create products that will put Africa on the map. I’m hoping to start collaborating with tech companies within the African continent by then”, said in closing.
I’m Inspired by JLO – Helen
By Kumbirai Mutengo
MANY young musicians have drawn much inspiration from Hollywood artists and this has led local artists to appreciate the American style of music. The US has been the global trendsetter in global music.
Jennifer Lopez affectionately known as JLO is an American all-rounder Hollywood who has featured in music, film, and fashion. JLO was the lead actress in the film Maid in Manhattan produced in the early 2000s. She also made the theme song for the movie Love Don’t Cost a Thing.
The international entertainment mogul who was married to musician Marc Antony is named to big hits such as ‘On the floor’ featuring Pitbull and ‘I’m into you’ featuring Lil Wayne. JLO bounced back in 2016 with the hit “Aint yo Mama” and she has been consistent both in film and music.
Tadiwa Helen Nyati , a 19-year-old musician has drawn much inspiration from JLO. The Bulawayo singer is taking the City of Kings and Queens by storm. The teenager started music when she was 17 years old in October 2018 and earlier this year she decided to take up fashion.
“I’m inspired by Jennifer Lopez who is actually an actress, model and a singer.She is actually my role model,” said Helen.
Helen anticipates to win awards in the near future and is known as one of the best influential artists globally. Helen’s greatest challenges have been getting a manager whom she can trust and rely on with her career. Although she managed to secure Helen means business. There has been an outcry of mixing business with pleasure in the music industry.
Although she is so much obsessed with JLO, Helen adores Mariah Carey, Rihanna, and Ella Mai. “Their art is different and good enough to present to the world and inspire many,” she said. The young artist already has six singles to her name which have enjoyed airplay.
She is currently working on her first album called Galaxy which Means Different Stars.
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