Three Durban University of Technology (DUT) students have been selected to compete in the Huawei ICT Competition Regional Finals which is to be held online, next month, February 2022.
Dickson Hove, Wendy Nhleko and Dumisani Sibanda will be competing with 12 teams from various countries in the Southern African region. This comes after they were part of the Huawei ICT Talent Development Annual Awards ceremony held online, last year, December 2021, to award top performing academics and instructors in that year.
At the awards ceremony DUT scooped third prize in the Excellent Academy category and will receive three Huawei tablets to benefit the staff and students together with a trophy and a certificate. Staff member, Eloge Ngoie was awarded the Excellent Instructor Award and is expected to receive a Huawei laptop, certificate and a trophy.
Speaking about DUT’s achievement, Ms Tsholofelo Llale from Huawei’s South Africa Enterprise Business Service Department (Regions Management Department) said: “ DUT stood out from the rest based on their ICT Academy operations performance, since they registered as a Huawei ICT Academy they have opened more than five classes, trained more than 300 students on Huawei Certified Associate ICT certificates in Artificial Intelligence (HCIA-AI). More than 100 students have passed their Huawei certification and this has earned them the third position in the top Excellent Academies in South Africa. It has been such a pleasure working with the DUT team, we look forward to many more years of a fruitful partnership. We appreciate the effort and support you have put in making this project a success. Keep up the amazing work.”
She revealed that the three students were recently interviewed by Huawei and have been offered a three months’ internship to expose them to Huawei equipment, projects and prepare them for the regional finals. Furthermore, Llale mentioned that Huawei might extend their contracts should they do well in the regional finals and make it to the global finals (which may take place in China in May 2022 or might be online depending on the COVID-19 pandemic situation).
Hove, a second-year PhD student at DUT under the co-supervision of Prof Oludayo. O. Olugbara and Dr Alveen Singh said: “We participated in the HUAWEI ICT competition preliminary exams during the period of 11 October to 24 October 2021, in which most of us excelled through hard work and dedication. After succeeding in the preliminary exams, most of the DUT students, myself included, were invited to participate in the HUAWEI ICT Competition South Africa National Final Exams on the 13 of November 2021. Through hard work, a team consisting of three DUT students, myself included was selected to represent South Africa at the regional finals in 2022 in the Huawei Cloud track competition.”
He believes this is one of many opportunities for DUT as an institution to represent South Africa during the Regional and Global Finals. Hove is certain that DUT will once again mark its dominance in producing competitive ICT students in the world through this platform.
For the upcoming regional finals, Hove said the team is confident that they will win and go all the way to the global finals because they are working very hard and have already started preparing for the finals.
Team member, Sibanda, a first year PhD IT student at DUT under the supervision of Prof Richard C Millham conveyed the same sentiments saying they are ready to put DUT on the global map through their participation at this competition.
“Honestly, the path towards this competition is not easy. In total, the Cloud Track has 10 different courses to be studied before writing the final exam. I went through a period of intense pressure to be able to reach where I am in the competition. The pressure and intensity of work will continue to increase as the competition heads towards the Regional and Global stage. For the Regional stage there are two examinations to be negotiated through: individual written exam and scenario based comprehensive lab exam (done in a team of three). But the bigger the challenge the greater the motivation for us to do well in the competition. I am ready for the Regional competition. Our team is ready. We will go all the way to the Global stage. We are happy to represent DUT in this noble Huawei competition,” said Sibanda.
Speaking about the competition, the third member, Nhleko, an ICT graduand at DUT said it means she has to stay relevant to the technology that exists and keep evolving, to keep up and keep learning more so she could be competent.
“Being a small part of the Huawei team would be a great achievement as far as Information Technology exists, so that would mean growth to me. To DUT, the competition paints a good picture, I am proud to say I am a product of their teaching, lessons and educational programmes. Wherever I go, I represent them and myself therefore I am certain that the institution is as excited as I am about this journey,” added Nhleko.
Pictured: DUT’s three finalists in the Huawei ICT Competition Regional Finals, Dickson Hove, Wendy Nhleko and Dumisani Sibanda.