HIT Motto


Facebook shortlists Kudzai Chasinda on Messenger Bots Challenge Finalists

Kudzai Chasinda, a 3rd year Software Engineering student has been shortlisted on the Facebook Messenger Bots Challenge Finalists.

The 60 finalists were selected from over 1000 entries from across 64 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Egypt took the roost with the most number of finalists.

Teams of up to three people were invited to participate in the Challenge. Zimbabwe had two individual teams that came up as finalists namely: Kudzai Chasinda from HIT and Kuzivakwashe Muvezwa from Impact Hub.

Chasinda’s Messenger Bot, PopTime Bot- a Movie Companion and Kuzivakwashe Muvezwa’s Sphinx- The Game, made it to the final 60 Bot Makers from Middle East and Africa in the Bots for Messenger Challenge. PopTime Bot – Movie Companion – and Sphinx- The Game are a movie recommendation application and a game and respectively.

The Bots for Messenger Challenge is a contest to recognize and reward developers who create the most innovative new Bots on Messenger, and was held under three categories: Gaming and Entertainment, Productivity and Utility well as Social Good. It was launched in February 2017. 

The 60 finalist teams each won a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship, and tools and services from FbStart (https://Developers.Facebook.com/fbstart)- a Facebook programme designed to help early stage mobile start-ups build and grow their bots. All student teams who made it to the finals won an additional $2,000.

Commenting on his latest achievement, Kudzai Chasinda said he is driven by his ambition and passion. “I love what I do, and I hope to see myself making a difference in society someday. I also hope to see myself becoming a world-class software engineer in the future competing with those from first world countries,” he said.

Kudzai is currently working on a blog series focused on Bots and Android and looking forward to sharpening his skills and evangelizing the latest technology trends on and off campus.

“HIT has one of the best cultures in Zimbabwean Universities, which is the spirit of entrepreneurship. The culture of having to come up with a project idea, developing it and defending it in front of a panel is also very important in trying to promote something. This pushed me to get into the final 60 and I am looking forward to winning the challenge,” said Chasinda.

Chasinda is familiar with the global computing arena and is a part of the Google developer ecosystem. As recognition of his involvement in one of Google’s various communities, he was invited to attend the Google I/O 2016 Conference hosted at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in San Francisco, United States.

Kudzai developed a music platform called Chase Music Player. The music application is downloadable on Google Play for free, and is designed to offer free music to android devices running on Android 4.0 or higher. The application is user friendly and can be used by all age groups and is uniquely crafted to enhance playlists.