It has been said that constraints and tough situations drive innovation more than anything else, a wise man once said “the only way to get out of a tough box is to innovate your way out.” This has definitely been the case for young Malawian student, Mixon Faluweki, who after growing up in a village without electricity where people couldn’t charge their mobile phones, decided to invent a bicycle that not only gets you from point A to point B- but charges your phone in the process.
According to statistics, over 80% of Malawi’s population relies on bicycles as the main mode of transportation and only 11% of rural households have access to electricity. Named the Padoko Charger, Faluweki’s invention is the perfect solution for the thousands of people living in remote villages who not only have to travel just to charge their mobiles but have to pay for the service too.
The Padoko charger does not consume too much energy. As soon as you start pedalling, charging begins and it can charge almost all types of mobile phones. The smart invention also allows users to power their radios, mp3 players and enables them to recharge their flash lights.
“My interest in innovation started when I was at primary school, I remember designing a bird trap which was used to catch Nkhanga (guinea fowls) that used to destroy maize crops at our maize field which was near the game reserve. I kept improving the trap to the extent that it was able to catch rabbits,” recalls the innovator, in an interview with Nthanda Times.
Faluweki’s invention has been warmly received by people worldwide, but most importantly by Malawian villagers who are benefitting greatly from his idea. He is also a receiver of the Best Young Innovator, organised by GIST in Morocco 2014.
“Thinking differently is what brings change. Being confident and focused is what brings out your idea to the world; once you have an idea do not wait, move on and think of testing your idea. Consult relevant experts in the field of your idea and listen to their advice and chose those advises that will help you,” concludes Faluweki.
Mixon Faluweki definitely makes the list of African innovators to look out for this year. We look forward to seeing more inventions from him, this is only the beginning!