With the fourth industrial revolution on the verge of dominance in most industries, students from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) are already catching up with new technology by developing games and creating a platform for young innovators.
Youth Corner met the brilliant students at the NUST Technology Day recently as they showcased their skills on how they created and developed a computer-based game, ‘Muhoko Runner’.
Muhoko, derived from the word ‘Omuhoko’, meaning family or diversity in Otjiherero, was established in 2017 by a group of first-year students in the Faculty of Computing and Informatics after their lecturer challenged them to develop a game within a week.
“My friends and I came up with Muhoko Runner and our lecturer was impressed with our work. We were seven at the time, and our group comprised students from Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ghana. So, the diversity amongst the students just gave the drive and the impact of looking for a name such as Muhoko, and that is how we created the Muhoko society,” narrated the president of the society, Kutenda Nyamupfukudza.
Muhoko registers 52 innovative students every year under their society –and over the years, it has become a trailblazer for young innovators to follow through the development of prototyping mobile applications.
“The reason why the society has been progressing is that each year, when first-year students join our society, we initiate them, guide them and help them with extra programming courses. We teach them things they are not taught in class and offer them freelance work. So, at the end of the day, a student is probably a semester or two ahead of the curriculum – and by the time they graduate, they would have been working already because of that freelance work,” Nyamupfukudza said.
Nyamupfukudza, who is a third-year student, pursuing his bachelor degree in computer science, specialising in software development, said they aim to create a change in the technological society of Africa and beyond “to impart members with socialising skills, programming knowledge and teamwork skills when they are challenged with working in groups”.
These students have so far created 27 games in total and aim to create 52 games, which they will deploy on the system called the “Gaming Console”.
“Once you download the software, you get to experience 52 different games, of which some are board, 2D and 3D games,” he further explained.
Muhoko has grown to be more than just a students’ society.
According to Nyamupfukudza, they have also registered a company called Muhoko.org, which offers services ranging from software developing, designing, data analytics and business registration, among many other services.
“We need help from the public and private stakeholders to offer us freelance work or to sponsor where they can, as we are trying to survive in this gigantic industry. If there are people out there who need work to be done, we are just a phone call away,” he said.
More information about Muhoko can be found on www.society.muhoko.org