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Saturday, September 19, 2020

18 year old Zambian , Mphatso Simbao, wins National Geographic Explorer Award at Google Science fair

Headlines 18 year old Zambian , Mphatso Simbao, wins National Geographic Explorer Award...

Winners of the different categories at the Google Science Fair (Zambian ,Mphatso, on the far right)
Winners of the different categories at the Google Science Fair (Zambian ,Mphatso, on the far right)

The Google Science Fair is a global online science and technology competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18.

Mphatso Simbao took part in the National Geographic Explorer category .

The National Geographic Explorer Award honors an outstanding project with an experimental approach to answering some of the greatest questions in our natural world.


“I want to be an inventor, an inventor, I just want to be an inventor now”

I’ve gone through many phases over what I want to do with my life. From being a Pastor, to Pro Gamer and even making money as a jack of all trades because I loved knowing various things and talents. 

I have not had much experience with science fairs but have always been interested in poverty in Zambia. For my ninth grade Geography project I researched it and it was detailed and unique and as few youth had gone into the low income areas. Further, I am interested because my father is a politician who tries to help the country despite the people that hurt him and I get to talk to his colleagues about Zambia’s situation.

I want to use my knowledge to make cheap inventions that help low income African homes. In the 2013 November national fair I attended I worked on a really cheap piezoelectric transducer using wood that won second place. Thanks to school I also made a patent pending lamp that uses wood gasification to provide reading light for rural students at night but need to make it safer. I am inspired by Thomas Edison and Nichola Tesla who used science to commercialise electricity to develop their state


Mphatso being presented with the award
Mphatso being presented with the award

Below is a summary of his project:

Keeping Farms Alive on a Budget

In Lusaka, Zambia, family involvement in local politics has made Mphatso (18) keenly interested in reducing poverty in his community. As Southern Africa struggles to recover from its worst drought in decades, farmers are seeing their crops destroyed due to El Nino weather changes, leading to famine for millions. Without crops, farmers can’t make a living, making it harder than ever for them to pay for the farming supplies they need to keep their farms fertile and their families thriving. To help local farmers find low-cost, affordable solutions for pesticides and fertilizers, Mphatso investigated alternative ways of generating the supplies farmers need. He created a simple, portable production station that requires basic cooking materials like charcoal and local plant leaves from the ground. Based on his methods, Mphatso believes farmers can save hundreds of British Pounds in costs, saving ~50% on fertilizers and ~80% on pesticides to help them produce better, more abundant crops.

The complete project can be viewed: HERE

Mphatso explaining his project .
Mphatso explaining how his project is used.

According the official website, Mphatso received the following as a prize:

  • $15,000 educational scholarship.
  • A year-long mentorship.

The winner, along with a parent or guardian, will also travel on a 10-day National Geographic Expedition to the Galápagos Archipelago, “Darwin’s living laboratory” and home to an abundance of wildlife. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, these unique islands offer the opportunity to walk among animals unfazed by your presence.

Traveling in a Category 2 cabin aboard the National Geographic Endeavour, the winner (and a parent or guardian) will have exciting, up-close encounters with species such as domed giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and flightless cormorants. You’ll go kayaking in secluded coves, where sea lions frolic in the shallows; snorkel amid shimmering fish, sea turtles, penguins, and playful sea lions; and cruise to pristine islands to walk among colonies of animals and birds that have no instinctive fear of humans. Explore with a diverse team of experts—from naturalists to regional specialists—who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes, and local culture. All in all, a once in a lifetime trip for nature lovers.





    • Young Simbao … you make us all proud. Congratulations …

      No Single Zambian Is Qualified For Stupidity, We Are A Smart People … So, Help Us God ~ B R Mumba, Sr (September, 2016)

      Thanks a trillion

  1. This boy will go miles , he doesnt need to follow Hon. simbao as a politician , the crooked father who stole the election from yamba yamba is a danger to society he later was petioned ,he lost then crooked his adoption as if staeling an election was not enough, he won and became minister of transport , i dont know his current status now so young man dont get crooked ideas from your DAD focus on science.

  2. You are going far my friend. Keep it up and continue believing in what you are doing. God bless you. We need more children like you .

    • Kudos to the young man bane… He is one of the few wise internet users in Zambia especially among Zed Youths.
      There is no prize in insulting or politicizing any constructive achievement. This is a matter of principle and I will never negotiate it… God bless all Zambian youths!

  3. Comment: great mind, continue with the heart to be creative. Forget these critics that are against your father. The critics are not creative and have never done anything for people of zambia. You critics are just failures. Hear how dull you sound. The father to the boy is very intelligent, has accomplished much in many areas of the country and world, which you the critic have benefited knowingly and unknowingly. That you can’t develop. You ll reap what you sow.

  4. Young man you have done us proud. Zambians are intelligent and can achieve anything. The sky is not the limit anymore. Go and possess anything that belongs to you globally. Wise user of internet.

  5. Congratulations we proud of you. You will continue to mentor other kids who aspire to explore and take up other challenges in life. Great job.

  6. You will never a politician as honest and as hardworking as Hon Simbao. He is disciplined and wholly unselfish. He is such a down to earth man that you would be shocked at his humility. No wander God has blessed him with such brilliant, humble and God fearing children. The greatest blessing God ever bestows on His children to give them children who love Him and consequently, excel in the cademics of this world. Mpatso, lots of love to you and CONGRATULATIONS! To Hon. Simbao, you are great man and that is why you have a lovely and great family! God bless you.

  7. UPND supporters masters at criticizing everything and anything because they have nothing positive to say about their country will criticize this young man and Google! Wait a minute! Google is a company yabasungu, so they will not! They will only criticize the young man because, “He is a thief” or something! What an organization!

  8. Congratulations to Honourable Simbao and his wife Dr Mkandawire Simbao for raising Mphatso in the way he should go. Well done young man for the great achievement. You are already a great inspiration to the younger generation. As for your father, you know that the ministerial position did not give him the honourable title. He is an honourable by nature a very humble man who works hard and helps make Zambia a better place. My advice to the criticisers is go through his paths you will see what he has done then musonte apomwabomba naimwe. Please think before you talk, you talk rubbish about a person people know, love and respect because of their hard and straightforward work, people look at you as an empty, shallow head. People voted and he won, accept it.

  9. Well done Mphatso, congratulations! ?Yes you have put Zambia on the Map and made us all proud. This is such a huge achievement for a young man at young age. It all comes back to all the excellent work your mum and dad has instilled in you. Well done Hon. Simbao and Dr. Mkandawire Simbao for the fantastic job you have done for your children’s upbringing. I admire your humbleness as a family and yes indeed God has blessed you and more abundant blessings on the way??.May the Lord continue to shine in your lives. Congratulations Mphatso??well deserved achievement, you have a bright future ahead of you. I wish you every success?

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