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Award-winning innovator opens up on love for cyber world – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Lumbidzani Dima, Chronicle Reporter
THE feeling of finishing a code of a certain application, and watching the computer “live” in the way you pre-determined is unbelievable, and it made Mr Tendai Gatahwa fall in love with the cyber world at a tender age.

The adrenalin rush that comes with formulating a concept in one’s mind and nurturing it to reality in the form of practical apps through programming turned Gatahwa into a computer geek.

While some of his peers frittered their lives away through substance abuse, he applied himself to learning the ins and outs of computer programming.

Computer-Image taken from Shutterstock

No wonder the 23-year-old, second year Computer Science student at the Midlands State University (MSU) scooped the Best Innovator Award at the ZITF Innovation Forum last week.

He is originally from Glen View 7, Harare, did his Primary level at Glen View 9 Primary School, O-level at Glen Norah 1 High, and finished his A-level majoring in Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science at Glen View 1 High School.

In an interview, Mr Gatahwa said the most important aspect of computers is the ability to create them and control every part of the way they function, through programming/coding.

He said his love for coding and computers in general emanated from his taste of novels and movies when he was growing up. His passion for coding landed him in a Computer Science course at university.

“I completely fell in love with the world of computers from a very early age, because of my passion for reading science fiction novels and watching sci-fi movies and TV series, stories that were based on or soaked in computers, robots, spaceships with a central intelligence (mostly speaking) units.

ZITF

All this led me to study computer science at university because I knew that the continuous development of software/hardware components will gradually change the way we live, do business, and perform tasks.

What I later discovered is that it did all that but much faster than I thought and expected. Now, I continue to follow the incredible growth of computers, computer networks, and the Internet, and I try to be always involved,” he said.

Mr Gatahwa shared how his coding adventure and talent grew to become recognised in the society. He started coding Runescape private servers when he was in form 3.

“I actually started with HyperText Markup Language (HTML), which is not a programming language, then moved to JavaScript (JS). After a few months, I was able to make a good, bad looking but functional Todo app that was able to store data in cookies because I don’t think at that time local storage existed.

Then I heard about unity, and because unity script is similar to JS I was able to quickly create a dumb game. Finally, I decided that creating games is not actually my thing, and started exploring more about Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“I started python programming just after finishing my lower sixth form. After that I started some free IBM courses in fundamentals of artificial intelligence.

Computer coding- Image taken from Shutterstock

Well after I had an appreciation of that I attended a conference on Blockchain technology and I was hooked. I started looking more into decentralised technology and how it has an impact on our day-to-day living. I started looking more and started taking some classes on Udemy,” he said.

He said during the gap year between A-level and University admission, he learnt a lot about the modern technology of AI and Decentralised Systems.

In his first year at MSU, he became the leader of the team that participated in the Student Cluster Building Competition which was hosted by the Zimbabwe Centre of Higher Performance Computing where they came second after being defeated by UZ by 0,5 points.

That made them more determined and focused as a team, leading to the innovation of an app which got people talking after winning at the ZITF.

“After that defeat, our university incubated us at the Incubation Hub where we developed a decentralised E-Business App. It is meant for SMEs to manage their business to scale up in business. We integrated it with an AI Model that does sales trends after a specified period of time. We then attended the ZITF Innovation Forum where we presented our product and came out first.

We also participated in a hackathon challenge and we developed a completely decentralised supply chain system. At the end of the ZITF, I was named the best innovator,” he said in a tone a proud parent would use to talk about the achievements of their favourite child.

He said this is the beginning of something big as he is still young. He said he wants to make Zimbabwe a better place and more exciting place to live in. With the confidence born of years of preparation, Mr Gatahwa said his vision is to create a technological empire in Zimbabwe through offering decentralised systems and AI models suited for businesses.

“I had a feeling and acknowledgment of a job well done and justification for the agony, the self-doubt, and the hard work that we went through in the development of the project. This award made us feel proud, happy, overwhelmed and delighted. It gave me validation and boosted my confidence,” said Mr Gatahwa.

He said the app is not yet on the market as it is still undergoing some evaluations, but their biggest vision is to create a decentralised ecosystem in hospitals, governmental services, insurance, and other essential services.

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American movie director longs to shoot movies in Africa – NewsDay

Jaron D “JD” Lawrence

BY Charles Myambo
GLOBALLY acclaimed American movie director and entrepreneur Jaron D “JD” Lawrence has reportedly earned close to US$100 million through his production work and other ventures.

He is well respected in Hollywood and widely regarded as one of the best movie directors for his genre worldwide. He has described Alpha Media Holding’s chairman Trevor Ncube as a media innovator and global thought leader.

United States-based NewsDay Life & Style correspondent Charles Myambo (ND) caught up with him.

ND: You are easily one of the greatest drama directors in Hollywood. How did you master the art of drama and comedy?

JDL: “I owe it all to God without him none of what I do would be possible. With regards to mastering the art, I still have so much more to learn. I am just enjoying the process.”

ND: There are some sources online which say you have made over US$100 million dollars from directing movies and from your various business ventures. Did you ever imagine making it this big?

JDL: “One hundred million? Tell them to send me my cheque. My imagination is limitless with thoughts, ideas etc, so with that in mind, I guess I have so much more to achieve creatively and financially.

“I am always looking for strategic financial partners.”

ND: You are one of the most down to earth people I know. How do you remain grounded given all the success you have realised over the past few decades?

JDL: “God”

ND: Is charity something that you feel strongly about and if so, how do you think you can inspire more people to do their part and help contribute to charity worldwide? What role does music have in charity awareness?

JDL: “Charity begins at home. I learned that a long time ago. There are so many philanthropic things that I personally want to do”.

ND: How do you feel about the continent of Africa and do you one day envisage hosting some of your shows or shooting a movie in Africa?

JDL: “That is like living with dad and someone asks you how you feel about mom. It is the motherland.  I love it.  Although I have never been, I want to go. I would love to do shows and shoot movies there.”

ND: Given your business acumen, I would like to know what you think of African business moguls like Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwean media tycoon Trevor Ncube and Dr Divine Ndlukula?

JDL: “I don’t know them personally, I only know of them, but I would love to do business with them.

“Strive, Dr Divine and Dangote are well known for their fortunes and business acumen while Trevor on the other hand, despite being an astute businessman himself mainly stands out for being a media innovator and global thought leader”.

ND: Danai Gurira is a global sensation mostly known for her roles in Avengers Endgame, Black Panther and The Walking Dead. Thandie Newton is mostly known for her award-winning roles in Mission Impossible and Norbit. Both these actresses hail from Zimbabwe. What do you think about them?

JDL: “I am a fan of Danai and Thandie’s work. They are both super talented and I wish them continued success.

“I would absolutely love to work with them provided the opportunity presents itself.”

  • Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe

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Africa CDC warns possible new Covid variant amid spike in new cases – Social News XYZ

Africa CDC warns possible new Covid variant amid spike in new cases

Addis Ababa, May 20 (SocialNews.XYZ) There is a possibility that a new Covid variant would emerge in Africa in a foreseeable future, Ahmed Ogwell, the acting director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), has warned.

“The increase is a clear sign that there is (a) high possibility a new variant, which is more transmissible, is to appear,” Ogwell said during a weekly briefing Thursday.


According to figures from the Africa CDC, the African continent has seen a 36 per cent average increase of new COVID-19 cases over the past four weeks, with Central and Eastern Africa regions reporting increasing new COVID-19 cases by 113 and 54 per cent, respectively, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union, called for increased testing to locate which part of the continent the new variant would be appearing in.

“We need to do more testing and sequencing so that we can be able to understand where the outbreaks are and identify what variant is emerging,” Ogwell said.

He also called for an enhanced vaccination rollout to sustainably address low vaccination service against the pandemic across the continent. “We are distinctively seeing increasing deaths due to the pandemic as cases are surging over the last four weeks.”

Five African countries reported the highest numbers of newly confirmed Covid cases over the last one week with South Africa reporting 50,404 cases, Tanzania 1,482, Namibia 1,054, Zimbabwe 910 and Burundi 817 cases, according to the acting director.

Source: IANS

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About Gopi

Gopi Adusumilli is a Programmer. He is the editor of SocialNews.XYZ and President of AGK Fire Inc.

He enjoys designing websites, developing mobile applications and publishing news articles on current events from various authenticated news sources.

When it comes to writing he likes to write about current world politics and Indian Movies. His future plans include developing SocialNews.XYZ into a News website that has no bias or judgment towards any.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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African scientists and technology could drive future black hole discoveries – NewsDay

Roger Deane/Iniyan Natarajan
ASTRONOMERS have revealed the first image of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. The image was produced by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, an international team made up of over 300 scientists on five continents — including Africa.

Black holes were predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity over a century ago. They are regions of space so dense that nothing, including light, can escape. Their boundary is known as the event horizon, which marks the point of no return. That’s just one of the reasons these objects are hidden from our eyes. The other is that they are exceedingly small, when placed in their cosmic context. If our Milky Way galaxy were the size of a soccer field, its black hole event horizon would be a million times smaller than a pin prick at centrefield.

How, then, can one photograph them? Our team did so by capturing light from the hot swirling gas in the immediate vicinity of the black hole. This light, with a wavelength of 1 millimetre, is recorded by a global network of antennas that form a single, Earth-size virtual telescope.

The light looks rather like a ring, a characteristic signature that is the direct consequence of two key processes. First, the black hole is so dense that it bends the path of light near it. Second, it captures light that strays too close to the event horizon. The combined effect produces a so-called black hole shadow — a brightened ring surrounding a distinct deficit of light centred on the black hole. In the case of our Milky Way black hole, this ring has the apparent size of a doughnut on the moon, requiring an extraordinary engineering effort to bring it into focus.

The unveiling of an image of our black hole, Sagittarius A*, is not just a massive moment for science. It could also be an important catalyst for diversifying African astrophysics research using existing strengths. We were the only two of more than 300 EHT team members based on the African continent. The continent doesn’t host any EHT telescopes — we were brought on board because of the expertise we have developed in preparation for the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), to be co-hosted by South Africa and Australia.

Why the image is important

This is not the first time a black hole image has captured people’s attention. We were also members of the team that captured the first ever image of a black hole in 2019 (this one is at the centre of a different galaxy, Messier 87, which is 55 million light years away). It has been estimated that more than 4,5 billion people saw that image. Sagittarius A* has also dominated headlines and captured people’s imaginations.

But there’s more to this result than just an incredible image. A plethora of rich scientific results has been described in ten publications by the team. Here are three of our primary highlights.

First, the image is a remarkable validation of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. The EHT has now imaged two black holes with masses that differ by a factor of over 1 000. Despite the dramatic difference in mass, the measured size and shape are consistent with theoretical predictions.

Second, we have now imaged black holes with very different environments. A wealth of prior research over the past two or three decades shows strong empirical evidence that galaxies and their black holes co-evolve over cosmic time, despite their completely disparate sizes. By zooming into the event horizon of black holes in giant galaxies like M87, as well as more typical galaxies like our own Milky Way, we learn more about how this seemingly implausible relationship between the black hole and its host galaxy plays out.

Third, the image provides us with new insights on the central black hole in our own galactic home. It is the nearest such beast to Earth, so it provides a unique laboratory to understand this interplay — not unlike scrutinising a tree in your own garden to better understand the forests on the distant horizon.

Southern Africa’s geographic advantage

We are proud to be part of the team that produced the first black hole images. In future, we believe South Africa, and the African continent more broadly (including a joint Dutch-Namibian initiative), could play a critical role in making the first black hole
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As has been the case with the country’s key role in paleoanthropology, there are contributions to global astronomy that can only be made from South African soil. Sagittarius A* lies in the southern sky, passing directly above South Africa. That is a major reason this image of the Milky Way’s centre, taken by the MeerKAT (a precursor to the SKA) is the best there is.

South Africa also has well-established infrastructure at its astronomical sites, which are protected by legislation. And it has world-class engineers at the forefront of their craft. This makes for low-cost, high-performance telescopes delivered on time and to budget.

New technology is also on our side: a cutting-edge simultaneous multi-frequency receiver design, pioneered by our Korean colleagues, means that EHT sites no longer need to be the most pristine, high-altitude locations on Earth.

All the elements are in place for a dramatic increase in the number of young Africans who participate in this new era of black hole imaging and precision tests of gravity. In the coming years, we hope to be writing about findings that couldn’t have been made without technology on South African soil, as well as African scientists leading high-impact, high-visibility EHT science in synergy with our multi-wavelength astronomy and high-energy astrophysics programmes.

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