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Being a young Zimbabwean is cool and being Africa’s finest is the best.

As an 18-year-old student at Hellenic International Academy in Harare, it was my dream come true after emerging as the overall winner of the 2014 DStv Eutelsat Star Awards in the essay category.

I am excited and proud of myself because this is quite an achievement that I least expected. Winning a trip to France to witness the launch into space of a communications satellite will make me believe and realise the importance of a satellite in our daily lives.

I am also happy for my countryman Lesley Chakurira of Lomagundi College, Chinhoyi, who was a runner-up in the poster category. This is the Zimbabwe we know and we have proved Africa as a whole that we are the best in terms of literacy rate.

When I entered the competition I was a bit hesitant at first but my friends from school encouraged me to join the competition only two weeks before the deadline and when I got the acceptance letter and I began to do research on Google, Spanish and US webs.

The theme of the essay category was: Imagine yourself as a satellite looking down on earth and consider the key issues shaping Africa and how satellites can help development.

To me it meant that one has to reveal and be the satellite. What you see or what comes to your mind is all that they wanted, this is what I just thought.

I now want to use this privilege to try and get myself a place at an American University through the United States Achievers Programme to study Medicine.

Everyone is proud of me at school and they are even planning to throw a party to be hosted by all those in Upper Six.

I did my O-levels at Kutama College and got a scholarship for my 13 As. I am now studying Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry at Hellenic International Academy.

Winning this essay is like a lifetime gift that I always dreamt of and now it’s in my hands I thank God. It means that more doors to discovery are now opened, more opportunities and my ambitions are starting to make sense. This all started in high school where I managed to participate in various sports for instance, rugby, volleyball, basketball, swimming and athletics.

I became volleyball captain for the junior team that went for the nationals. In athletics I was in the Zimbabwe team twice in Form Three and Four featuring in shotput and hammer throw. I had several clubs that included toastmasters, public speaking, quiz, Interact, choir, CLC, before establishing our own Tourism Society with the help of the then Miss Tourism at Kutama College.

I am thrilled by the fact that I won this essay competition throughout Africa and I would like to extend my warm gratitude to the DSTV team for a job well done in promoting talent development in Africa.

The runner-up in the essay category was Joatildeo Nuno Freire Melo of Angola, who won a trip to South Africa to visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African National Space Agency near Johannesburg. In the poster category, first place went to Hannah Kasule of Uganda, who will visit Eutelsat in Paris.

The four schools attended by the award winners and runners-up are also to be rewarded, and each will receive a DStv installation, including satellite dish, television set, PVR decoder and free access to the DStv education bouquet.

Judging took place in Zambia this week and winners’ names were announced in the presence of the Permanent Secretary of the Zambian Ministry of Education, Chishimba Nkosha, who commended MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat for establishing and running the competition each year and for developing students’ interest in scientific subjects.

Eutelsat Communications was established in 1977 and is one of the world’s leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites, providing capacity on 34 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. MultiChoice Africa is an African pioneer of pay-TV services in sub-Sahara Africa, having launched the first digital satellite service in the 1980s. The company now provides multi-channel, multi-platform digital pay television services containing channels from Africa, America, China, India, Asia and Europe.

Source : The Herald