A 12th grade Namibian from Abraham Iyambo Senior Secondary School, Simon Petrus, is making waves after he invented a mobile phone, which uses radio signals and doesn’t require airtime to make calls.
He reportedly made the phone using parts from a telephone and television set, and his invention doesn’t even need a sim-card to make calls. The mobile device took the senior two years to complete. It has not been smooth sailing for the young inventor, who faced financial difficulties. Petrus’ unemployed parents sacrificed to fund the project with over N$2 000 ($146 US dollars) to ensure that it would be completed successfully.
The invention, which is made up of a radio system, is attached to a box and makes voice calls, while also doubling up as a TV, allowing the user to watch one TV channel. Petrus’ invention is not a fly-by-night success story. Last year the learner won a gold medal at the NamPower national schools’ competition, after he reportedly invented a machine that serves as a seed drier and cooler.
Petrus’ invention continues buzz on social media, where the development is being celebrated as a remarkable example of the innovative nature and potential of young people on the continent, which needs to be supported.
According to New Era, Namibia has been the birthplace of various innovative projects by young people over the past few years.
Gerson Mangundu, another Namibian student, developed the country’s own social network site called Namhook last year.
In 2014, another young inventor from northern Namibia, Josua Nghaamwa built a satellite dish booster using scrap material to enhance internet connectivity, to benefit those living in the rural areas where the signal is significantly weaker than normal.