7+1 is not eight, it is the sound of productivity — the hours in a working day. The amount of perspiration required to deliver success. I say it is one short the number of tribes in Zambia. 7+1 is simply not enough that is why we decided to make it 72. 7+1+1 is a true representation of the blood, sweat and tears of a nation. Seven students, one mentor plus the Zambian people, tasked to defend the pride of a nation as debutants at the FIRST Global Robotics in Washington DC in July 2017. A first FIRST experience!
Many say seven is insignificant to make a change but without seven, there cannot be seven thousand, seven million or seven billion. Seven translates to the locomotion of 700 billion human brain cells colluding to succeed. Team Zambia 72 is a melody in the symphony of our nation which echoes diversity: 72 tribes riddled over the tapestry that we call our nation. Seven students, from across Zambia in the spirit of the one Zambia, one nation mantra converged to build EPOH. EPOH, which is hope spelt backwards, was a befitting name for the robot because there is not enough HOPE is the world. The hope that will help recognize the fact that despite life being a race, the greatest team you will ever run for is the human race. The spirit of FIRST, that no human should come last.
We might be amongst the last team to join the race but we believe today is never too late. Despite only seven students and one mentor heading to DC, Team Zambia is much larger. It is those who we can mention: Mwengwe Mpekansambo, Makasa Mwamba, Mphande Phiri, Chewe Malupenga, Clivert Mande, Jireh Katebe, Ephraim Mulilo, Meek Simbule, Njavwa Kabandama and Mary Ngoma. As well as those who have shown us support; Sela Kasepa, Harvard University, Zambian Institute for Sustainable Development and indeed the Zambian people. Representing our country is not a right but a privilege and thus do not take this for granted.
We will carry our country in our hearts, our flag high up and echo ‘10101Nomaone (Ten ten one Nomaone)” meaning Zambian and Proud in the halls of Constitution Hall as we lift our heads and stand tall.