Friday, May 25, 2012 Champion your support by supporting your Champions

Sports have been part of our lives from time immemorial. Almost every person is a fan of some sport in one way or the other. For example myself, I do not like football. I do not know more about football teams and their players. But I love cycling, cross country and hiking. I like watching vaulting and skiing though they are not played in Malawi. Sports are a fun.
Social networks have further the fun of sports. If you check statuses on Twitter and Facebook especially when great teams are playing, you will actually marvel at how tweeps and facebookers adore their favourite teams. The text messages that people send each other, the debates in public places, the expression of happiness in streets! Everything surrounding it depicts how people love sports.
Being a sports fan, Soyapi Mumba, saw the need to champion the support for his champions. He developed Owinna, a site to track competitions within Malawi and most popular ones in the diaspora. Owinna started as simple web page in January 2008. It was hosted under Soyapi's personal site, The site received a good feedback from netizens. On a binary date 11/11/11, Owinna was patented with Registrar of Companies in Malawi. - a sports site
 Four years later after the initial release, Soyapi decided to host it as a separate so as to improve the service that the application was providing. He changed the colour themes from blue to green, created a new logo and favicon and started supporting a mobile version of the site. In January 2012, launched launched as a part-time startup. The new Owinna site was developed with a simplistic design in mind. It does not have fancy things and it is fast to load even with sloppy Internet connections.
Now you can follow Owinna on Twitter and Facebook to get up-to-the-minute updates. By following updates from Owinna you champion your support within your peers by supporting your champions! The word Owinna is derived from a Chichewa plural owina meaning winners or champions.
Soyapi Mumba, is a Malawian software developer and blogger. As a developer, he has several applications to his credit. He developed xNumber Puzzle, a cross-number puzzle game that helps you exercise your brain. It is also available on Facebook. He has also developed other useful applications and plugins including a popular Firefox addon, SearchWith, which provides faster way to search highlighted text using various search engine services.
Personally, I owe him a lot, having ushered me to the deep realms of open source. Before I developed the first version of ChicSpell, the Chichewa spell-checker for, Soyapi had already started working with Prof. Kevin Scannell on collecting probably the first ever word-list for an electronic Chichewa spellcheker. When he abandoned it, I adopted it which I continue maintaining it with Prof. Scannell. He has also made contributions to other open-source projects including Ushahidi platform, Baobab Touchscreen Toolkit (initially developed by Mike McKay when he was working full time with Baobab Health), and Unicode for Malawi Currency and calendar system.
Having been in software development for more than ten years, Soyapi is now a full time open-source developer working for Baobab Health as the head of software development department. He is almost always on Twitter and Facebook but rarely posts updates as he is busy with Owinna and other cool stuffs. One thing I have learnt in him is that he very quiet and humble, not geeky but technically well-composed. Above all, he loves his name. You cannot miss it on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Github and almost everywhere on the Internet.

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