Brilliant 16-Year-Old Zimbabwean Beats Loadshedding, Electrifies Homestead Using Scrap Material
A young innovator in Jotsholo, Lupane district, Matabeleland North province is inspiring people with his creativity and resourcefulness. Pride Luphahla, a 16-year-old Form 2 student at Jotsholo High School, is using discarded electronics and scrap materials to create a range of electronic gadgets, including a music speaker, a mobile phone charger, a remote-controlled toy car, and a grinding machine.
In an interview with The Chronicle, Pride explained that he was inspired to start experimenting with electronic devices after he opened his family’s television set and saw the engine that made it work.
“Although that earned me a beating from my father, my question was finally answered,” he said. “I saw there was an engine moving and making it work, that is how I started planning on making a speaker and the grinder.”
Pride’s passion for innovation and his ability to create electronic devices using discarded materials have turned his parents’ home into an innovation hub. He has electrified the whole family homestead using old radios, TVs, and other electrical appliances powered by rechargeable batteries.
“I believe there are so many jewels in old things, especially electric ones,” he said. “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.”
Pride’s father, Musa Luphahla, is proud of his son’s work and has appealed to the government to support his son’s innovation. “After some time I started seeing his vision and I must say I am happy with his work,” he said. “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.”
Recycling of e-waste is urgently needed to reduce the environmental impact of mining precious metals for new gadgets. According to scientists in the West, the recycling of e-waste must be ramped up to make the production of new gadgets more sustainable. Pride’s work shows the potential for creative use of discarded materials and the need to support young innovators in the country.
“I picked an old speaker by the roadside. I cleaned it and used methylated spirit to make sure the rust that had been caused by the rain was removed,” Pride said. “After connecting the engine, I looked for two cables which I used to connect to our solar battery. 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.”
Pride’s story is an inspiration to many and shows the potential for creative solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges. As Pride himself said, “I believe the impossible can be achieved if we work hard and believe in ourselves.”