17-year-old Namibian invents a phone that doesn’t need airtime

A grade 12 (form 4) student, Simon Petrus, from Namibia is getting news coverage world over for inventing a mobile phone that does not need a sim card.


Simon Petrus (center) receives a University Scholarship triggered by his invention.

Simon made the phone using parts from a telephone and an old television set, and his invention doesn’t even need a sim-card nor airtime to make calls. According to him, the phone uses radio waves to communicate with other phones (ask your physics teacher about this)

The mobile device took the whiz kid two years to complete, and it has not been plain sailing for the young inventor, who faced financial difficulties. The project was funded by Petrus’ unemployed parents, who had to sacrifice over Ksh. 15,000 to ensure that his project would be completed successfully.

The invention, which is made up of a radio system, is attached to a box and makes voice calls, while also doubling up as a TV, allowing the user to watch one TV channel. Petrus’ invention is not a fly-by-night success story. Last year the learner won a gold medal at the Namibia’s equivalent of a national science fair, after he reportedly invented a machine that serves as a seed drier and cooler.

Petrus’ invention continues to cause a stir on social media, where the development is being celebrated as a remarkable example of the innovative nature and potential of young people on the continent, which needs to be supported.

Therefore, to the inventors out there, take your ideas very seriously. Go to the lab, talk to teachers and even your parents and build something. Do not be afraid of failure. Other teenagers are doing amazing stuff, and so can you!

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This post was sourced by contributing and/or staff writers and published by the Chief Editor at Hashtag Magazine. To get your article featured, send an email to articles@hashtagmedia.co.ke.

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