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Wednesday 16 January 2019
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Celebrating African Childhood Excellence

In a world of 7 billlion people and counting, life requires that you show up and show out.  And these days, the sooner you do it – the better. So we are encouraged to start it young.

A young person achieving hitherto unheard achievements remain one of the best triumphs that have and continue to pave a way for future generation. Also, with Africa not being synonymous with development, technology and growth, the future beckons as we rise to the challenge to craft a new narrative, to tell a new African story beaming with success.

Enters William Kamkwamba, a Malawian boy who transformed his village by building electric windmills. Consumed with a desire to make a positive change not only for himself, Kamkwamba had to drop out of school at the tender age 14. This was due to financial constraints and upon returning home, William believed against all odds that he could bring electricity and running water to his village.

Determined to learn, Kamkwamba made use of local libraries regularly as he was keen on learning science. Over time and with the help of countless books, Kamkwamba managed to build a windmill out of junk pieces he had collected from around his village. He eventually achieved his dream which led to supplying electricity to the whole of his village.

 

Childhood success has created a platform for children. It has made the world a safer place in which they can dream big which is imperative for every child.

Six year old, Ethan Yona who hails from Tanzania helped develop a computer learning game about a superhero called ‘EthanMan’.

Yona who is currently a first grader left many in shock upon discovering that he had launched an Android App and wrote book at the age of four in commemoration of the Day of the African Child.

Ethan who also has a passion for superpowers, wanted to create his own superhero figure as he wanted to show his peers that anything was possible. With the creation of the mobile app, book and superhero Yona aims to motivate and inspire other kids to be more responsible, to dream big and know that they can be anything they want to be such as a footballer, rock star or astronaut.

Youthful excellence have surely shun through in various forms. Late last year ten year old Namibian, Shambeleka Shaduka launched a book club called ‘Shambes book club’.

The book club aims to educate children on the importance of reading books as well as visiting libraries regularly.

 

Shaduka told The Lounge that her love for books started at the tender age of 3. Her grandmother’s habit of occasionally reading books in front of her rubbed off. When Shaduka moved to Windhoek in 2017, she decided to start a book club with friends whereby they would read books and do book exchanges.

Whilst explaining that there are many children who want to join the book club, Shaduka shares that she is not able to accommodate a big number at the moment, but hopes that someday she will.

“I am happy that children want to join but for now due to space I am willing to guide other children that would like to run a similar initiative in their communities”.

Shaduka is clearly a very ambitious girl as she has an array of  professions she is thinking of pursuing because she believes she has the potential to be the first female president. One of her goals in life is to obtain a licence as a pilot as well as to study architecture.

“I also plan on launching a book club for the children of her home town in Otjiwarongo by the end of February”.

 
Shaduka has received several invitations to visit schools and other communities to share ideas about starting a book club.

She continued to urge children to invest in reading as it expands your know-how and enables a bright future. .

Bank Windhoek created an entrepreneurial competition known as the Bank Windhoek    BizzKids for scholars across Namibia who are between the ages of 8 to 18 years.

The competition was established eight years ago with the aim to educate the Namibian youth about entrepreneurship and to offer scholars and opportunity to sell and promote their own products and services.

Scholars who participate are requested to submit a business plan which is judged according to the uniqueness of the product or service they are selling.  The business plan must include elements such as the description of the product or service, financial projections, expenses and quantity of the products.

Last year thirteen year old Hendrie Leff from Gobabis Primary School Ben van der Walt  won first place in the junior category of the Bank Windhoek BizzKids competition.

 
His winning concept traded under his business idea which was based on recycling wastepaper knows as Paper Homemade Briquettes.

Leff inspired the judges with his passion of not being happy with the state of pollution in Gobabis which is his home town. He subsequently invented a machine that compressed the papers into cubes which he and his father make use of to try and keep the town clean.

More people need to start believing in the dreams of children whether the dreams are realistic or not. If the child is passionate about their goals one can never know what great invention they can bring forth.

Let’s continue to celebrate the achievements of fellow children because every child has the right to dream, the right to a better life and the right to have access to equal opportunities.




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