Chipinge man designs drone, amplifiers
AT THE age of 24 years, many youths will be struggling to find their footing in the industrial world, but an ambitious selfmade engineer from Chipinge has broken new ground.
His innovativeness has extended to the creation of drone cameras and amplifiers.
Donald Mlambo Mazwati’s innovativeness has caught the eye of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, Mr George Charamba, as well as high-ranking officials from Zimdigital and Transmedia.
Mazwati is already eking a living out of manufacturing and selling of homemade amplifiers.
After successfully designing an amplifier, Mazwati is now in the final phase of inventing a drone camera he intends to launch next year.
He was inspired by his father who repairs TVs and radios in Chipinge urban. His innovativeness is despite failure to further his education to higher level due to financial constraints.
Mazwati attended Matione Primary School and did his secondary education at Gaza High School. He could not proceed to A-Level, and instead opted to write O-Level Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Maths. He passed with distinctions.
He soldiered on in his own father’s workshop, and by the time he finished O-Level, he could make gadgets such as amplifiers and fix a wide range of electronics.
His first attempt on a drone camera was a dismal failure.
He did not give up, but went on to make an improved design of a drone that is in the final stage of completion.
“I joined this field of technology innovation after being inspired by my father’s works at his workshop where he fixes a lot of electronic gadgets. I started off by taking some few notes on how to fix radio and television sets.
“After a long period of internship, I graduated into his role and started fixing customers’ gadgets full-time. I took my father’s trade seriously since it was our source of livelihood as a family.
“It is against that background that I decided to do my own invention after school. I started off with the invention of an amplifier using home-made equipment. My first amplifier only lasted for a few days before developing a fault. I then used the internet and followed DSTV channels which telecast some interesting programmes on how the latest modern gadgets are manufactured. From there I made my breakthrough.
“I then contextualised what I got on the
internet to upgrade my amplifier and then sold it at one of the popular nightclubs in Chipinge last year. They are still using it without any technical glitches. I can manufacture some amps, but business is still in its infancy,” he said.
Mazwati’s drive received a major boost early this year when Mr Charamba pledged to assist him. The permanent secretary pledged to support him with any materials he needed.
“I met Mr Charamba and officials from Zimdigital and Transmedia in March and showed them the amplifier I had built from scratch. They tested it by connecting it to their PA system and it worked well without any glitches for more than 30 minutes.
“Everyone at the function was impressed by the sound quality and they decided to help out with materials such as PC boards, etching pens and sulphuric acid. I was supplied with the materials in August and I have managed to use them to construct 10 amplifiers which are working properly.
“All I am waiting for right now are the external covers for the amplifiers and I have been promised that they will be delivered soon,” said Mazwati.
He said it was during this function that he was introduced to the drone and was charmed by this type of camera.
“I had not seen a drone before, and thanks to the ZimDigital whirlwind tour in Chipinge. I was told by a ZimDigital official how it works and I was inspired by it.
“I then decided to design it. I am designing it using my home-made equipment. I am doing final touches which include connecting it to the remote control before it flies,” he added.
“If we create the gadgets like I am doing, we will need the proper market, but the truth is that we are not getting the necessary support as people believe in imports,” he said.
Commenting on Mazwati’s works, Mr Charamba said the country had an abundance of brilliant scientific minds whose growth was being stunted by lack of an adequate environment to sustain them.
“There is a lot of intellect in terms of the character and temperament. The only missing element is the environment which nurtures our people to join the technological world,” said Mr Charamba.
He also said Zimbabwe had a lot to learn from other technologically advanced countries that give young people opportunities to showcase and explore their talents.
“Countries that have made it technologically are never countries that allow upcoming scientists to operate in isolation.
“They should be brought together in some kind of colony where they interact so that at the end of the day what you have is a hybridisation of thinking which bears bigger results,” he added.
Mr Charamba said his ministry had set up a research and development department that would enrol bright minds and fund them to develop their ideas.
“I am so happy to say that in our plans we intend to sort of tickle the nation’s research and development side as a component of the digitalisation process.
“Once we have our own home, it means that restless minds like this one here will have a comfortable home that encourages that kind of thought processes and interaction,” he added.
Mazwati explains how his home-made drone works.- Picture by Luthando Mapepa.