In June 2012, Michael Yeboah, the Ghanaian Overall Winner of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards, travelled with his father to visit the Eutelsat facilities in France, as the main part of his prize. Whilst in France Michael went sightseeing in Paris, Cannes and Nice and enjoyed a dinner cruise on the Seine. He also visited the Eutelsat satellite control centre, the Eutelsat communications Systems Control Centre and the Sales & Reservations Centre. Michael also visited the Thales Alenia Space facilities and watched satellites under construction.
On his return Michael said “I am so grateful to DStv for this once in a lifetime opportunity. This trip has made a big impact on me and it has encouraged me to take my interest in art and information technology very seriously.”
The DStv Star Awards is an essay and poster competition with the objective to: showcase innovative ideas on the application of satellite technology; create awareness of satellite technology and its application among African students; and stimulate interest in science and technology among African school children and educate them on the science involved.
Multichoice is passionate about these awards and this is reflected in Collins Khumalo statement, President of MultiChoice Africa’s statement that “ An investment in the youth is an investment in the future – and we believe that education in the area of science and technology will make a fundamental difference to this future.”
MultiChoice Africa is pleased to announce the return of the DStv Star Awards for 2012 under the theme: Satellites – Expanding Africa’s horizons and entries will be open from 12 July – 28 September 2012. In 2011, over 800 were received and worthy winners for the overall awards emerged from Uganda, Ghana, Mauritius and South Africa and it our hope that we can double the entries this year.
An account by Michael Yeboah: Eutelsat and Dstv: Igniting The Flame Of Creativity In Me.
To see men sit, plan and come out with concrete ideas to make a distinct object that will travel far into the space with which humanity can explore, examine and monitor our existence was something I could never have comprehended.
I stood still with mouth wide open, watching how materials and other technological resources were molded and mounted onto boards and how energy was created within these materials to build a box-like structure called satellite. It was then that I realized and understood deeply the sense behind the concept of my award winning poster that had brought me to France. Art and paintings, they say, define our senses. It also explains and gives meaning to our very thoughts and ideas. It interests me when concepts and thoughts are expressed in artworks. I had painted many pieces but none of them had received public attention let alone an international recognition, and that, nearly made me lose my interest in painting. But thanks to EUTELSAT and DSTV, who through their educational program, for igniting the flame of confidence in me which helped me to grasp how several concepts can be gathered and expressed in a single artwork.
This takes me back to 29th July, 2011, when I submitted my poster on how satellites could impact on Africa’s development. It marked the maiden edition of the DSTV EUTELSAT star awards, an African essay and poster competition whose objective is to empower and encourage African students to use their innovative and creative skills in creating a poster or writing an essay on the significance of satellite technology.
As the overall runner up, I won a trip to Paris for myself and a parent (my father) to tour the Eutelsat facilities and to experience space technology. On the 3rd of June, 2012, after we got to Paris, we went round to look at almost every famous architectural structure and monument in the city. We went from the Notre Dame , to the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre, the world’s famous museum and to the 300m high manmade wrought iron structure, the landmark of Paris, the Eiffel tower.
At the Eutelsat headquarters, I observed how serious all the staff were his or her duties. I visited the satellite control centre where I became so thrilled to see only two men controlling and manipulating 28 giant satellites in space. In developing countries like Ghana, many people are usually seen working on a simple job that could be handled by one person. This ineffectiveness and redundancy of labor does not developing our country and continent as a whole. I learnt from Eutelsat that the best outcome doesn’t necessarily come from millions of people but from the few determined people.
On the third day of my stay in France, I visited the Thales Alenia Space facility in Cannes. At this facility, I witnessed a team of competent workers building powerful satellites. Panels, pipe tubes, fibre wires and other lighter conductive materials are a few of the many materials, that were used in the construction of the satellites. I marveled at how these heavy box-like structures could go far into space with ease and be suspended there for a long period of time, as long as 15 a years. It dawned on me how impressive space exploration is.
I was told it costs about $400million to launch a satellite, which I don’t think it would be very easy for a developing nation like Ghana to come by. I recommend that, the African countries should come together and train specialists to design and build satellites that will work to develop Africa. I also encourage students to embrace the initiative of Multichoice and Eutelsat to empower African students toward the development of Africa through satellite technology. I agree with the hopes of Mary Musimire (The best overall award winner of the EUTELSAT DSTV star awards, 2011.) that, “someday in future, may an African look at the sky and see beyond the stars, may he see cities growing, industries developing and the environment being reborn, the children being fed. May he see satellites further developing Africa!”