WATCH: MacGYVER! Jotsholo lad electrifies homestead
Flora Fadzai Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
SCIENTISTS in the West say recycling of e-waste must urgently be ramped up because mining the earth for precious metals to make new gadgets is unsustainable and thousands of kilometres away in Jotsholo, Lupane district, in the province of Matabeleland North a Form 2 pupil got the message and is creating electronic gadgets using e-waste and scrap.
He has also electrified the whole family homestead.
So far Pride Luphahla’s homemade electronic creations include a music speaker, a mobile phone charger using rechargeable batteries, a remote-controlled toy car powered by an old phone battery and a grinding machine.
The talented 16-year-old Jotsholo High School student, who has had no skills imparted to him by anyone, has turned his parents’ home into an innovation hub using items deemed trash by many.
The garbage that he has turned into gold includes old radios, TVs and other electrical appliances that he powers using batteries.
“The first idea came to me when I was watching television with my family and I started wondering how the TV works and what makes pictures move. One day when I had been left alone at home, I decided to open the television set. Although that earned me a beating from my father, my question was finally answered. I saw there was an engine moving and making it work, that is how I started planning on making a speaker and the grinder,” he says.
Pride says after making the grinder and the speaker he decided to make the two cars which are made out of wire but can move using an old phone battery and a motor.
He says his ideas just come to his mind and if he does not work on them immediately when they come he gets a headache and becomes uncomfortable such that concentrating on anything becomes hard.
The Saturday Chronicle went all the way to Jotsholo and the directions we were given led us to a beautiful home where we were welcomed by a woman who introduced herself as Pride’s mother. She introduced us to her husband and asked someone to look for Pride.
As we are still exchanging formalities, a young man enters the room and utters an inaudible “hello”. We exchange looks asking ourselves if we are at the right homestead because of the unassuming nature of the lad.
Our silent question is quickly answered when he starts telling us about how he made his speaker and his other innovations. This is the only time that he raises his voice — he speaks with authority and confidence as he clearly shows us that he knows his business.
“I picked an old speaker by the road side. I cleaned it and used methylated spirit to make sure the rust that had been caused by the rain was removed. After cleaning it I dried it using the sun for a few days and when I was satisfied with it, I took an engine from an old radio and carefully put it there carefully to make sure it was in the proper way. All this just comes to my mind. No one has ever taught me how to do it, I just do it when it comes to mind. After connecting the engine I looked for two cables which I used to connect to our solar battery,” says Pride.
Pride says his favourite innovations so far are his toy cars that work using old batteries from mobile phones and the charger that he made.
“I believe there are so many jewels in old things, especially electric ones. My wish is for everyone to not throw away these things but rather keep them safe and give them to me so that I create new things,” says the young innovator.
His father Musa Luphahla is proud of his son.
“After some time I started seeing his vision and I must say I am happy with his work. He does not create these innovations only but has also connected four of our houses with electricity using only one solar battery. I really do not know how he does it and how it comes to his mind but I am impressed,” says Musa.
He appealed to the Government to come forward and support his son’s works as he believes that Pride can grow up to be someone who will help the country and spread cheer.