- A young astronomer is hoping to inspire Mzansi with his work
- The science whizz, Indiphile Madletyana is passionate about all things space and currently hosts a Youtube show broadcast from the South African Space Agency
- The brilliant young man spoke exclusively with Briefly News, sharing that he really hopes to inspire the youth of SA
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An inspiring young astronomer and scientist is hoping to inspire the youth of Mzansi with his good work.
Speaking exclusively with Briefly News, Indiphile Madletyana is the Youtuber educating South Africa on all things space and astronomy.
The teenager says he found his passion for science and the stars following an interaction with an older community member who had been working at the South African Space Agency.
Today, Madletyana has no plans of looking back and hopes to one day see his educational videos broadcast all over the world.
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Check out his interview with Briefly News below:
Tell us about yourself( School career, upbringing etc...)
"I am a driven young man from the dusty streets of Zwelihle, I am pushing the envelope in terms of academics, public work and various areas. I have an inquisitive mind, very good in front of the camera and I can engage with members of the public very well. At school I was elected as one of the Representative Council of Learners(RCL). I have taken interest in science and leadership roles. I have been inspired by my mentor, Thandile Vuntu, seeing him from my childhood as a person working at a space agency. I was encouraged."
What inspired your love for science and space in particular?
"It was after my participation in an astronomy competition by the South African Astronomical Observatory and South African Agency for Science & Technology Advancement. It is called the AstroQuiz. My primary school science teacher, Ms Zimkhitha Buyile was the one coaching us and we reached the 3rd round. Throughout the competition my interest grew and the whole competition was exciting as I was(and still) in love with Astronomy. Space is really interesting and very enthralling, I believe that space sciences is a study which needs thorough engagement."
How did you manage to get in contact with SANSA? What has that relationship been like?
"My relationship with SANSA commenced when I went there for their open day in 2018. I was amazed by how they value science advancement. In 2018, I was chosen by my primary school to represent the school as they wanted to shoot a tour around their facilities and since then I got help from there when I entered an exposition called Eskom Expo For Young Scientists. The relationship has been healthy as I met more scientists at the space centre."
What are the hopes and dreams you still have for yourself?
"I hope to have my videos aired on television, that way, I will reach a wider audience spreading the gospel of Astronomy in each and every household in South Africa. I want to be an Astrophysicist when I grow up. Science is a passion for me, so I want to study at the university which offers the best physics in South Africa, the University of Cape Town or the university offering the best physics in the African continent, the University of the Western Cape."
Do you think enough is being done in areas of Science and Innovation for young people like yourself?
"I think enough is being done when we speak on a national or city level. The area of science must reach those in townships like myself and those in rural areas. I remember when I went home in Mqanduli in the Eastern Cape, the night sky was so beautiful and excellent for stargazing but I found out that Astronomy hasn't reached those parts of our country. I believe more must be done to tackle this issue."
What advice would you share with anyone who is passionate about space, like you?
"The sky is not the limit. Your passion is your destiny, I strongly believe that you can be whatever you want to be if you work hard. For me, in the history of Zwelihle no one has ever did what I am doing, don't be afraid to be different."
3 Talented graduates build solar-powered wheelchair that is controlled by voice
In more science news, Briefly News previously reported that 3 Nigerian graduates have built a wheelchair that runs on solar power and is voice-controlled.
The talented University of Port Harcourt graduates who are the brains behind the innovation has been identified as Ugochukwu Stanley, Stella Onyinyechukwu and Collins Oyomare.
Ugochukwu Stanley who shared on Facebook a video showing the use of the device stated that all the materials used in the creation of it were sourced locally except for the voice recognition module which was ordered overseas via Ali Express.
It was their final year project in UNIPORT
Ugochukwu and his colleagues all graduated from the department of mechatronics engineering in UNIPORT and did the wheelchair as their final year project.
Ugochukwu told Briefly News that the special wheelchair can also be charged using electricity and the sun, describing it as a hybrid project.
Challenges faced in designing the special wheelchair
Speaking with Briefly News, Ugochukwu stated that the team faced several challenges that include getting the machine to recognize their voices.
"We had several challenges. The whole process of making the wheelchair understand our voices wasn't an easy one. We had to test it for two weeks to be sure it wasn't going to misbehave. And finally it had a good response of about 69.335%."
The special wheelchair will also help special individuals with their mobility.
"Instead of depending on a caregiver, this device would be useful to the disabled," he said.