Innovation is all about finding creative ways to re-design what already exists, to add one’s unique flavour to an invention. Despite contrary belief, innovation is not just something that only the youth is concerned with but every individual, young or old, has it in them to be innovative. This is certainly the case for 40 year old weaver Ojo Obaniyi, from Nigeria, who has created the world’s first ever hand-woven car. Talk about Africa’s version Pimp My Ride!
The Nigerian artisan was looking for ways to attract more customers and to keep his business fresh, when he decided to give his Volkswagen bakkie a make-over. Obaniyi uses raffia fibre to make all sorts of household essentials as well as chairs, baskets, flower vases among other things. Not only did he cover the outside of the car with the fibre but every part of the car including the seats, steering wheel, dashboard and tyre wheels are beautifully wrapped in raffia- creating beautiful artwork.
The use of raffia fibre in Nigeria is quite popular, it is a resource that is helping many residents to sustain their living. The magnificent piece of art that has caught the attention of people worldwide, took Obaniyi an entire year to complete. “I wanted to prove a point that it is not only the educated elite that can make positive changes in society,” the proud weaver said.The car still works like any other, it requires refuelling and it can still be serviced. Obaniyi says he is happy to teach the craft to anyone interested.