Minister Marian Chombo links dreaming innovator to professional guidance

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Writes Elvis Dumba
Zvimba – A rural-based scholar’s dream of contributing to the agricultural revolution of the country through his irrigation innovation is slowly turning into reality after Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Hon Marian Chombo linked the scholar to Chinhoyi University of Technology engineers and Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.
Billy Rwodzi, a student at Matoranhembe High School in Zvimba where he is an upper six commercial student, invented a cellphone-controlled irrigation system that can be used to control an irrigation system whilst the operator is stationed anywhere in the world.
The system uses codes that can be sent from an ordinary cellphone to switch on or off the irrigation system.
The young innovator who is far away from science subjects in school says his innovations are a product of the dreams he gets whilst sleeping.
“I usually dream and when I wake up I write down what I would have dreamt and I experiment from there,” he said.
Billy’s cellphone-controlled irrigation system which he is perfecting can also be adapted and used to switch on or off a vehicle and lock or unlock computers by sending a coded text from any cellphone.
“This system uses codes that can be sent from any cellphone to the linked device and you can send codes whilst you are in any part of the world as long you have a signal and you don’t have to have a smartphone to do this as any cellphone will do without using airtime,” he explained.
Security personnel interests were also lured to his inventions after he invented a system that can be used to detonate mining explosives placed at least 300 metres underground.
Billy said he also invented a solar-powered gun that can shoot on its own after detecting movement.
“The system can be used to control many things and its uniqueness in irrigation is that unlike irrigation pivot center boxes that can be stolen and used on another irrigation system, this coded system can be set that it can only respond to unique codes only known and set by the operator,” he said during a brief demonstration of his innovation to the Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Marian Chombo and engineers from Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT).
“I am pleased and amazed that we have such young people who are so creative and innovative. As you are aware, the government has come up with strategies to ensure that our higher education system becomes solution-based so that when a student graduates, we have someone who is going to offer solutions and if we look at this innovation it can go a long way in improving our agriculture.
“We need to come up with strategies that ensure that such innovations are supported to become commercially viable products. That’s why to ensure that no person or place is left behind, we now have innovation hubs at institutions of higher learning that help to fine-tune such innovations. Since the government is committed to supporting such initiatives, I would want the Chinhoyi University of Technology and the parent ministry to assist with this innovation and ensure it is fine-tuned and used for the benefit of the agricultural sector.
“In this era and age when as a country we are struggling to deal with the drug and substance abuse, it is refreshing to find people such as Billy who are determined to contribute meaningfully and come up with something that can positively benefit communities,” Hon Chombo said.