Winning Lusoti pupils off to US for E400 000 Google prize
One parent and two teachers of two Lusoti High School pupils left the country on Thursday morning for the United States of America, where they will be receiving their staggering E400 000 from Google.
Speaking to the Weekend Observer before departure on Wednesday, Nonhlanhla Zwane said she was very happy and excited with the prize her son won.
“I am very happy that Sakhiwe has won such a prize and it has really made us proud. I made sure that I gave him all the support he deserved so that he could do well in his studies.
“I never thought that he was going to win such a prize. We are happy with their winning and we know it will inspire other Swazi learners to enter such competitions. I am very proud of my boy. I have to put into practice my teaching skills and guide him well so that he does not get carried away because of the prize money,” said Zwane.
Bonkhe’s aunt Siphiwe said she never knew that her nephew would win such a prize. She said Bonkhe lost his mother while he was still young and was brought up by her.
“I never knew that Bonkhe was doing a massive project. I thought he was just doing his school work. We will invest his money in profit making ventures so that it could help him when he wants to further his studies after completing high school. I will not be going with him, but I know that he is a well-behaved boy and will continue to behave well while in the US,” said Mahlalela.
Mandla Sithole and Zinhle Simelane both Science teachers at the school accompanied the two boys. Speaking before departure at the Matsapha airport, Sithole said the school was very happy with the achievements of the two boys. School Principal Thamsanqa Masuku said they were happy because that proved that there were clever children in Africa.
Masuku said the recent achievements put their school and country on the globe.
“Winning such prizes will make people take us seriously as a country. I know people now want to know where Swaziland is located in the world.
“Recently two gentlemen were in the country and they spent time with the learners. They did video footage of the boys while at home and another captured while they are at school.
“As a result of their outstanding performance, the school will soon receive computers. These computers will come from Google US. At the moment we do not know how many computers they will give us. As a school we are grateful and proud with the achievements of the two boys,” said Masuku.
He said winning such a prize would also motivate other learners because the two were now role models. Masuku said the school would have a duty to protect its image because as a school of winners, they would not allow anything less from their pupils and teaching staff.
He said after winning the Junior Achievement Award, everyone at the school was excited about it.
Bonkhe wants to invent own software
Bonkhe Mahlalela wants to study computers and invent his own software. Speaking before leaving Swaziland on Thursday, he said he was in love with computers such that when he completes school, he would like to study Computer Science.
“I just love computers and I would like to do a course so that I can develop my own software. At one stage I wanted to study Science but offer winning the competition, I want to pursue my dream and study Computer Science or become a computer engineer,” he said.
He said he was happy with the prize and was hopeful that they would do well in another competition when they get to the US. The young man said should they get position one in the competition in the US, they would win 30 notebooks for their class and it was their desire to get position one. He said his father worked in South Africa but they received the news of his achivement.