DSTV-Eutelsat awards celebrate African students
By Prince Osuagwu
Two winners have emerged from the fifth edition of the DStv-Eutelsat Star Awards, organised by MultiChoice and Eutelsat, which reached a record participation of nearly 2,000 entries from 18 countries.
The winner in the essay competition category, Ayawen Asuinura from Ghana has won a trip to Paris and onwards to a launch site to witness a rocket blast into space to place a satellite into orbit. This is the first win in the essay category for Ghana that has already produced two winners in the poster category.
The runner-up in the essay category was Sara Eribo from Equatorial Guinea who won a trip for two to visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African National Space Agency near Johannesburg. In the essay category, students were asked to interpret the quote by Socrates “Man must rise above the Earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives” and to show how satellites help understand and take care of our planet.
In the poster category, Mallon Marume from Zimbabwe scooped the first prize for artistic creativity and will visit Eutelsat in Paris to understand how satellites are operated and piloted in space and the many ways they benefit users. This is a consecutive win for Zimbabwe as Joseph Mahiya won top honours in the essay category last year. Benjamin Ibanda from Uganda was the runner up in the same category. The four winning schools attended by the overall award winners and runners-up were also rewarded with a DStv installation, including dish, TV set, PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet.
Paolo Nespoli, an European Space Agency, ESA, astronaut chaired the jury of the Awards for the third year in a row, assisted by an international panel of skilled industry experts. Commenting on the entries, Paolo Nespoli said: “As the Jury Chairman of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards over the last three years, I confirm that this year’s entries reaffirm the high standard of this unique competition. The quality and creativity of the finalists’ essays and artwork underscore the deep interest of Africa’s young generation in science and technology. I am truly honoured to be part of a competition that reveals some of Africa’s future thought leaders.”