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HIT student Mafuta wins Tourism Challenge Award

SHANNISE DZOBO

MASVINGO CITY– Harare Institute of Technology University (HIT) first year student, 21-year-old Leislie Mafuta, won the first prize at a recently held Tourism Innovative Challenge in Masvingo, The Midweek Watch can reveal.

Christopher Mafuta the father to Leislie, who was not present to receive his US$1000 prize collected on his behalf. Mafuta told The Midweek Watch that it was not the first time that his son has made him proud.

“I am very delighted that my third son is doing wonders, winning these challenges. In 2021, when he was still in Form 5 at Kutama College, they won third prize as a group, and this time around, he did it alone. I am very happy he won the challenge,” said Mafuta.

“I urge all the youths to partake in these challenges because they help youths to avoid engaging in drug and substance abuse and also to the parents, I urge them to create an environment for their children to be able to express and execute their skills in full capacity”.

Leislie won a prize for a project called Amajzim which seeks to give aspiring tourists a 3D virtual realistic experience through the use of virtual reality sets powered by artificial intelligence.

The second prize went to Jubilee Sibanda and Rumbidzai M Mutangadura who are projects assistants at the Great Zimbabwe University Innovation Hub with a project titled ‘A journey into Mutapa Empire’ and won a cash prize of US$500.

Sibanda said that the challenge was competitive.

“I am glad my team prevailed and our project is entitled a journey into the Mutapa empire which basically is a mixed reality project for Great Zimbabwe Monuments which stands as a testament to the advanced engineering and architectural skills of the Shona people who lived in Southern Africa during the 11th – 15th century.  Mutapa reign and this Mixed Reality (MR) project incorporates 3D models of the Shona people and the Mutapa reign thus giving the site an immersive, engaging and more interactive experience”.

Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira said that the event is critical in the development of the province so that all the tourist attraction places in Masvingo become the places of interest.

“To ensure sustainable growth, there is a need to continuously develop new products and services that can be introduced into the market and the youths play a pivotal role in making it possible”, said Chadzamira.

“We are all aware that the travel and tourism needs are continuously changing and coping with these changes through innovative ideas that have been submitted through the challenge will ensure creation of new tourism economic value”. 

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority regional manager South East Lowveld, Marvellous Sengwe said that the youths are very essential when it comes to tourism development and for the country to get to the US$5 billion target by 2025.

“Youths are very much essential to the development of our tourism sector so that we attain the US$5 billion target by 2025 and we urge youths all over the country to take part in these challenges that happen each and every year and be very much involved with their innovative ideas so that the tourism sector market a competitive product throughout the world”, said Sengwe.

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