Africa University is renowned in industry for developing stellar graduates who not only possess critical industry skills but also have a blend of social responsibility and an unwavering ethical code. This stems from the nurture , mentorship and training that graduates receive during their time with the university. The same can be said for the university’s students who go for the industrial attachment phase of their learning where the theory of what they have learnt for the first two years of their programme is put into practice.
For Christabel Nyatsine, a Computer Sciences undergrad who works with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe, her skills were put to the test by her employer when she was encouraged to enter its Innovation Challenge that is hosted annually and designed to put young interns through their paces and test their ability to think creatively to solve challenges within the industry.
Out of seven shortlisted candidates, Christabel came out on top through the creation of a Helpdesk system that allowed the sending of large volumes of data using a secure platform that would reduce server downtime and thus increase the efficiency of the organizations’ IT systems. Additionally, after testing positive for COVID -19 earlier in the year and worrying about the spread of the pandemic in the workplace, Christabel also developed a remote query system designed to allow computer – related problems to be solved where they are and reduce the need for workers to physically seek IT assistance.
Christabel credited her success in the competition to the training she received from Africa University saying,
“The knowledge I used to develop these solutions came from Africa University . It was not just the academics but also the social skills which gave me the confidence that I have to put myself out there and strive to develop myself. Our Ubuntu philosophy also helped me so much to be able to blend in to the work environment easily, to work harmoniously with different personalities and peoples and to most importantly value cooperation and team work.”
Proceeding to speak of the significance of her award and what she sees herself doing when she eventually graduates, Christabel said,
“Computer Sciences is a rather broad field but I have managed to find my niche and passion in programming. This award is so important to me as it is an endorsement of the career path that I have chosen especially since this is a field of work that is predominantly male dominated and that can be intimidating at times but I know I have the skill to succeed. I am truly blessed to have won and it is indeed by God’s grace. I hope that I can also inspire my fellow Acacians.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe created the Innovation Challenge in 2019 to encourage students attached with the organization to embrace originality and to bring forth their ideas of change and transformation.
Christabel was awarded a USD $500 cash prize along with a laptop and a floating trophy. She also won awards for Best Presentation and Best Written Submission earning her USD $200 for each prize.