Meet Samuel Karumbo the Young Man Behind The Solar-powered Car in Kenya
The sleepy village of Langas, Uasin Gishu County in Eldoret has attracted the attention of both local and international media. For it is here that a Samuel Karumbo Ng’ang’a was born and raised. Little did his family members and villagers know that Samuel would give their ill-famed estate so much positive attention. Growing up like any child he had a dream and vision that one day he would own a budget-friendly vehicle.
He sat for his Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education in 2005 at Kapsara Secondary. Driven by passion and thirst to see his dreams come true he enrolled for a Diploma course in Electrical Installation at Kitale Technical Polytechnic. In a country where the unemployment rate is so high after graduating, he decided to look for maintenance work. He funded his projects and bought materials with the little he could spare. His little room serves as his workshop and display for his projects. Not even the limited resources could deter him from chasing his dream. At 30 years his resilience, hard work, and dedication is bearing fruits thanks to his innovative spirit.
The Kenyan Green Energy Car Innovation
Over a period of 4 months, Samuel dedicated his time and resources to see his dream turn into a reality. The result was a two-seater car that is propelled by solar energy. Not only is Samuel’s homemade car eco-friendly but he can also use it to light the house and charge his gadgets. The car is unique in that it depends on gravity during downhill. Weighing only 120kgs the car can only cover 50 km daily at the moment. The car uses three solar panels [at rear, top, front] with 260 watts to produce clean energy which is then stored in batteries. A project he estimates to have cost him about $1250.
The free energy car may have been what has brought Karumbo into the limelight but he has numerous creative and interesting inventions and projects. Among his earlier inventions is a machine that assists the physically challenged to feed, drink and brush their teeth, a bed that generates electric energy during sex and when turning, phones that can ignite electric cookers and mobile controlled irrigation projects. Currently, he is working in developing a robot that can drive cars.
Samuel attributes the success to his keen observation skills, desire for knowledge and love for invention. Ng’ang’a noted there is market and demand for his innovation. His greatest barriers were financial constraints. For this reason, he appealed to the Kenyan government to assist him.
In a bid to support pollution free environment he hopes the government will recognize his efforts and support the initiative. Excitedly, the his community had called on the County and National governments to support his aspirations of creating more solar cars for Kenyans. Karumba isn’t only celebrated for his creative, and time-valued innovative skills, but also for being a role model for the youths in the slum who look up to learn from him.
Recently, Karumbo also invented a bed that can capture any power activities generated on the bed, and store for several other uses such charging electric lanterns, phones and other gadgets. Parents can finally get something useful out of kids jumping on the bed, and apparently now, there is more power to sex on the bed!
Sounding good so far, right? The financial constraints in this Karumba story is a foreshadow:a guy who holds such promise he’s a wanted man for giant corporations: IBM, Microsoft, Apple, and the like. We won’t necessarily see him on soccer fields winning world cups. Shortly somehow, he’ll be winning dollars for the West. If and when that time comes, we’ll all welcome Karumba to its family of immigrants here in the US or around Europe, and pity Kenya and Africa for their loss.
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