Thumbiko Nkwawa Zingwe - Malawi
African Drone and Data Academy Students
Thumbiko Nkwawa Zingwe was raised by a mother who instilled the value of education, self-discipline and community responsibility in him. His love for technology started at a very young age. “I have always been curious to know how things work. To answer this question, I would read and experiment with different things. This is how the scientist in me grew,” says Thumbiko.
Thumbiko has a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences (Geology) obtained from the Malawi University Science and Technology (MUST) and a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation with a focus on technology commercialization from the African Leadership University (Rice University).
With his qualifications in Geoinformation systems, specifically geological remote sensing for lithological and mineral identification and exploration, Thumbiko also has experience working with the Malawi geological survey department. In his spare time, he develops applications and has developed a game called 'Projectile’. This game helps students to learn and understand physics motion problems and other ideas in robotics and automation.
“My interest in drones and their applications developed during the disturbing times when people with albinism were targeted and killed. I thought drones can be used for security surveillance to prevent the abduction and killing of people with albinism,” says Thumbiko. “Once the news of the killings died down, I changed my focus to the potential use of drones in geoinformation data acquisition and use of drones to address social and economic challenges that come due to both human and natural activities,” he adds. Thumbiko says he applied into ADDA to gain skills that will help him put these ideas into action.
So far, Thumbiko can design, build, assemble and maintain drones with multirotor and fixed wings. He can also operate and pilot a drone and will soon graduate with a Top-level 2 pilot license.
“After ADDA, I plan to use the skills and knowledge gained to start a geoinformation consulting company that will utilize drone technology in the areas of infrastructure, environment, mining, mineral exploration, land surveying, geo hazardous assessment and agriculture,” he says.
“The information generated from my consulting firm will help to improve living standards for my community and children by providing critical information on where people can safely build their homes, plant their gardens and conduct other community social activities.”