#GameChangers Meet Simon Petrus: The Young Namibian Who Invented A Cell Phone That Doesn’t Require Sim card or Airtime

By Duchess Magazine

The African continent undeniably abounds with numerous untapped potential, abilities, talents, ideas which sadly have not been harnessed into fruition.
In these highly trying times when survival and excelling demands more than wishing, way more than education, the innovative game must look beyond the surface to promote great vision to secure independence and the advancement of the African nation.

In 2016, a then-teenage Grade 12 student at Abraham Iyambo Senior Secondary School, Simon Petrus, made headlines nationally and internationally many thanks to his creative invention of a cell phone that didn’t require the use of a sim card or airtime to operate but works with radio frequencies.

Petrus, from the country’s Ohagwena Region sourced spare materials from his local vicinity – recycled cellphone and landline materials to create a simless phone which took two years to create and can make calls to anywhere but through the use of radio frequencies.

Amazingly, other than the sim-less phone, Petrus’ invention is a whole unit comprising of a working radio, television, a light bulb, a fan, and a socket.

The phone is aimed at rural areas with weak network coverage to help boost coverage. His highly supportive parents, although unemployed, managed to support him with $2,000 in funding. Petrus’ invention notably won him medals at national competitions.

“I have already tested it on a smaller machine and it works perfectly. I just need to raise about N$3,000 to buy the necessary parts and microphones. “The problem is that I have no one to help me. I have approached my family to help me raise the money but they don’t understand. I tried several times but they don’t understand. “Right now I need financial and moral support, because I don’t have any form of assistance. I am frustrated and I have no one to advise me but I have not given up on my future. God has given me a talent,” he said. Petrus

This isn’t Petrus’ first invention, in 2015, he also won a gold medal at the NamPower national schools’ competition for young innovators in Namibia for creating a machine that doubles as a seed drier and a cooler.

Although described as an average student, science is where he gets his genius from and takes the lead in the sciences.
“He is not bright when it comes to books, but that boy is a genius when it comes to technological innovation. He is just good. “The situation he is in right now is unfortunate, and something needs to be done before we lose out as a country. We should not allow that kind of talent to go to waste. He is just too good,” Winter Jeremia, his former school principal said.

Sadly, as of 2021, not much encouragement had gone Petrus’ way for his brilliance to be utilized due to lack of financial and educational support from the public and private sector, universities, and vocational training centers, his talent, and the lucrative project hasn’t yielded much.

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