In a very intense six-hour challenge,Tauhir Ahmed, a Grade 12 pupil at Islamia College in Rondebosch East, emerged as the gold medal winner of the South Africa Computer Applications Olympiad, held at Bergvliet High School.
Of the 10 983 participants entering the competition, only 10 reached the final round.
Tauhir’s prizes include cash, a full UCT scholarship and a trip to America. Tauhir is the third Islamia pupil to reach the finals of this highly challenging olympiad.
Last year, Fayaaz Kimmie received silver and in 2014 Taariq Barday received bronze.
Tauhir will also compete in the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship that will be held in Florida next month.
Tauhir said computers piqued his interest from a young age.
“I would always be busy with something on a computer, be it messing around with settings, playing games or taking the computer apart and putting it back together.
“I knew early on, computers are what I want to get into, and now I do both computer applications technology (CAT) and information technology as school subjects.
I would like to do electrical and computer engineering, so my career choice includes anything along those lines.”
He said winning the olympiad and taking part in the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship was one of the best feelings he had ever had.
Tauhir said his parents are very happy for him, especially that he would get a bursary from UCT to further his studies.
Tauhir said he had not expected to win because the competition was fierce and the other pupils who took part were the best of the best.
He added though that in the two days over which the competition had taken place, he bonded very well with his fellow competitors to the extent that they called themselves “The CAT squad”.
“I’m extremely excited to go to Florida because I’ve never travelled internationally before and more so that I am representing South Africa in a global competition,” Tauhir said.