It was David and Goliath, except for the differences in the endings of the stories, the Afrobot competition organised by SciFest Africa between Ikamvanites, Galaxy – an independent engineering team, Magnete from Graeme College(former private school) and Ntsika High School lived up to the biblical metaphor. Little did we know, that Magnete and Galaxy have had 3 and 4 years respectively to prepare and practice for this taurnament while Ikamvanites had only 3 days to prepare.
The preparation stages were shaky, as expected under the circumstances. On Day 2 of preparation, Ikamvanites demonstrated tremendously high spirit and unity of purpose as they put together their robots. A spirit of team work inspired by IY’s values of “teamwork and peer-to-peer support” became the useful tool as frustration due to pressure grew in other teams.
By 5pm on Friday, Ikamvanites were testing their robots and helping each other in preparation for the next morning’s show down. The teams had to build remote controlled robots to pick up or push 6 cans from one place to a designated spot in a space of 90 seconds.
Both Ikamvanites’ teams demolished Ntsika High School, added Graeme College among the casualties and went on to meet in the finals of their category.
Exhilarating as the finals of the pushers were, the fact that both teams were Ikamavanites added a bit of sourness to it. The winning team in the Pushers final went on to meet the winning team in the Lifters category, Galaxy. Though Galaxy took 4 years to build their robot, they were certainly given a run for their money by Ikamvanites which saw them winning by a small margin of just 2 points.
The creativity, courage, determination and commitment shown by Ikamvanites through the preparation stages of the taurnament and the tremendous discipline demonstrated during the actual competition saw us earning an early invitation to the taurnament due to take place in March 2015. Indeed, Ikamva Lisezandleni Zethu!