Urgent Evoke

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The international (and sometime local) press has made Africa to be a continent riddled with hunger, war, corruption, HIV etc... What most people don't know is that Africa is also a continent full of ingenuity, many times in areas that you least expect to see it. There are incredible innovation every day in thousands of villages, godowns, roadside shops and homes throughout Africa. This creativity and ingenuity is brough about by the need to survive.

One such ingeneous innovation is welding machine made by a jua kali artisan in Kenya. Jua kali literally means hot sun in Kiswahili, and refers to the informal small traders who work outdoors in the sun fabricating mostly work metal and wood items, fixing cars and other household items. Unable to afford new tools they fabricate their own out of locally available materials.

This Jua Kali artisan build a welder using scrap metal, wires coated for insulation using strips of cloth torn from old clothes. This is then wound into the welding machine coils. This welding machine is then used to create works of art from wrought iron. I have posted pictures of the jua kali welder with my photos - amazing!! More information on this and other exampls of African ingenuity can be found at Paula Kahumbu's blog.

Views: 35

Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 19, 2010 at 1:17am
Shakwei- I think what happens in the African continent and in Kenya is what happens also in my country and Latin America. We have to make things work one way or another. Scarcity of resources helps creativity in many ways.
Comment by Jen Shaffer on March 19, 2010 at 4:59pm
Scarcity is the mother of invention. And Africa is the mother of us all.

I think I saw this on Afrigadget. Really cool stuff. I am always impressed with homemade solutions to real needs.
Comment by Heather Simmons on March 19, 2010 at 11:49pm
This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing! Keep spreading the word of African ingenuity - more people definitely need to hear and understand this message. Everyone could take a good lesson from those who are able to do so much more with so much less.
Comment by Ssozi Javie on March 20, 2010 at 3:15pm
Jua Kali is the way to go in Africa.
This takes me back to my post: Provide Skills NOT Just Finished Technologies.
When people invent their own solutions to local problems, it helps them THINK BEYOND.

Thanks for sharing Agent Shakwei
Comment by Oliver Hohlstein on March 31, 2010 at 7:41am
It almost makes me envious of your living in such an ingenious country. :)
Thanks for the insight, Agent Shakwei. :)
Comment by Joshua Z on March 31, 2010 at 3:53pm
Thank you, Shakwei! I did not know about jua kali.

If you have not seen it, here is a video about William Kamkwamba, a 14 year old Malawian boy built a windmill from scrap & spare parts to power his family's home. William Kamkwamba: How I harnessed the wind.

All very inspiring!
Comment by Iyamuremye Jean de Dieu on March 31, 2010 at 4:58pm
I agree with you!
Comment by Gaby on April 27, 2010 at 1:02pm
the image of africa as a "dark continent" is so backward and medieval. this is impressive and empowering. thanks for sharing :)
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 27, 2010 at 1:50pm
shakwei - beautiful post - please read my latest one on africa , racism ,child labour and local ignorance

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