Simon Petrus made headlines when his invention of a phone that does not require a SIM card and consequently does not require any airtime, was thrust into the spotlight.
His impressive invention, which was still at an early stage, was rather large, approximately the size of a box. He made it using parts from a telephone and television set, over a period of two years.
The phone despite its cumbersome design delivers the promised capability of harnessing radio frequencies to make free calls.
Simon Petrus, who does have a history of making amateur inventions, one of which saw him winning gold at the NamPower national schools competition where he displayed his invention of a two-in-one machine that works as both a seed drier and cooler, is mostly sponsored by his unemployed parents. For the phone project, they had to fork out a total of 2000 Namibian dollars equal to about $ 146.
Simon’s sim-less phone has, however, opened up a bigger door for him to walk into his dreams. Simon Petrus has been offered a tertiary education scholarship by the country’s telecoms operator Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC).
The telecom company has guaranteed that it will fund Petrus’ university studies to pursue his dreams. An MTC press release saw MTC Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer, Tim Ekandjo, presenting a letter of commitment to the young inventor, agreeing to fund his studies towards a technology degree of his choice upon completion of his high school studies.
In the statement, Tim Ekandjo commended Petrus for his extraordinary and brilliant invention and said the country needs more innovative people like Petrus to ascertain that the future of technology in the country is bright. The Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer also revealed that the company does not usually fund learners from grade 12, but that in Simon Petrus’ case, MTC was proud to make an exception.
News of the scholarship is being celebrated online as social media users laud the telecoms company for investing in the tech potential of this young Namibian.