Team eSwatini 2018

Team ESwatini is a group of energetic, enthusiastic and hard-working young people working towards achieving their dreams in the STEM field regardless of the rural areas they come from. They are working to prove that your background doesn’t define who you are, but the effort towards making a change is essential.  They are a team that lives to inspire other students around them at school and in their different communities. 

Because of their great passion in science, they have been participating in their school’s math and science quiz competition and got great awards for their school. The very same energy is their drive in participating in FIRST Programs for 4 years now.

This team is goal driven, “they don’t stop trying until a solution is obtained”. For such reasons, it is fun watching them interacting, posing questions to each other, and listening to their discussion getting deeper, you just laugh. Once one gets to realize the strength of their level of thinking, it is so awesome. They just love working together, hands-on, talking through problems and trying to solve them together.

Albert Einstein writes “Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work”, team ESwatini is a living testimony. 

Kwanele Ngcebo Maziya, Programmer

I’m a 16-year-old boy so passionate about science and mostly fascinated by the aviation bodies (Aeroplanes). I’m currently doing my last year at high school (Grade 12) at Lusoti High School, in Simunye. I would like to be an Aeronautical Engineer when I grow up. Because of my enthusiasm towards science I was chosen to join the robotics team at the age of 12 and so robotics has been a great part of my life. Also, robotics provides a great start for me in terms of engineering since it broadens the way I think. I see myself as one of the future engineers regardless of my background. I’m working towards doing what most people of my area think is impossible to achieve. I wish to study in one of the best aviation institutions in the world.

I wouldn’t say I have spare time because I’m always engaged in science projects even if it doesn’t have to do with robotics. When I’m not doing projects, I do my studies. I also do research on aeroplanes and occupations that have to do with them. Physical science is my favorite subject. The passion towards physical science it that I love challenging stuff, it helps drives the mind and make one to be an active thinker. One major thing about me is that I’m a responsible leader. Since grade 8 I have been a class monitor until now. In addition, I have led my robotics team to obtaining 1st place in the FLL 2015 competition (Trash Trek) and have actively participated in the South Africa competition.

Luyanda Mabuza, Driver
I am a student in grade 10 at Lusoti High School. When I grow up I want to be a Mechanical Engineer. That is why I got so interested on robotics the first time it was introduced to us, because when I engage myself to the activities being done, I feel like I’m exactly practicing my job career and hope that one day my dream would come true. I wish to meet one of the engineers with incredible award-winning invention, with robotics I strongly believe I can achieve that and they can help me with guidelines to be successful in the future.

As a driver during my own spare time I like playing with Legos, building and programming them to do certain challenges. I also like researching about new inventions of cars and gadgets or electronics. My personal hero is in life is Bill Gates because I get motivated from his quotes like this one “When you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake”. These words are inspiring as to one must work for his or her success and not complain about being born and raised in a poor home. It clear states that your success in in your hands.

My favorite subject are Math and Graphic Design. In most cases people find it very difficult to understand how I manage myself as in most cases what I do succeeds. But that is so because I make sure I give my whole effort when doing anything and that makes me achieve and excel. The good results are a contribution of being a goal driven and visionary person. 

Nontobeko Vilane, Programmer and Team Captain
I have been participating in FLL robot games for two years now. I am interested in robotics because it helps broaden the way I think and keeps my mind active and improves my math and science, since programming a robot requires a lot of mathematical and technical concepts and all this is part of science. I wish that this program could reach a lot of Swazi children for them to benefit like I do. I aspire to be a Doctor when I finish school. I enjoy helping people and this is just who I am. I never find difficulties when a colleague at school asks for some explanation on something we learnt, and they did not understand. 

During my spare time I enjoy playing mind games because they help to improve my thinking ability and I also participate in my school’s choral music. Mathematics and science are my favorite subjects, I easily understand the concepts I learn and my performances in these subjects are outstanding. My hero is Oprah Winfrey. I’m inspired by how she has withstood obstacles she faced to achieve who she is today and especially her passion for a girl child. I am an honest person who works well with other people. My friend usually tells me that smart people are stingy with information, and always say that I’m different.

Mhlanga Fisiwe Tracy, Mentor
Tracy is a qualified Information Technology specialist who obtained certification at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.

My major interest in robotics is that it enlightens the mind with basic to advanced computer coding, math and engineering skills which are all the science of today’s activities. Robotics is a gaming activity that even adults can enjoy through building different models. 

As much as I would have not participated myself in this program while still a student, I believe my contribution in mentoring and advocating the importance of one’s engagement in such a program would help the young people redirect their careers into STEM. I’m currently learning robotics myself from other mentors and from the experiences of my team. With time I believe I will reach many young people.

I am an active contributor to the socio-economic development of my community as a volunteer. I have 3 years account of working as a community project volunteer; mainly for STEM Education Swaziland as Project Director. Through this engagement, I have learnt and realized the shortage of girls in STEM fields, thus through the assistant of our Country Director have added a Girls inspired in Tech (G I-Tech) program to draw more females into the field through activities that are of interest to them.

I’m one person who strives for perfection when doing something I like. For such a reason, I realized that to mentor students in the FIRST programs does not really require an expert, however, one with passion and willingness to learn from others and from the students themselves. For this reason I give myself time to watch speeches on YouTube where other FLL mentors share how they contribute to their teams.