I’m a motorcycle guy, so anytime you put a motor on a chassis with something less than four wheels, then I’m interested. The creation below is by a young man called “STA”, who’s got a lot of swagger and a double teardrop tattoo under his right eye. In many ways STA is a one-of-a-kind character, unlike anyone else I ran into in Lagos.

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Let’s put it this way, anyone who rides such an eye-catching bike without a license plate, and who has no worries of the cops hassling him because of it, is certainly cut from a different cloth. When stopped, STA simply points to the Nigerian flag flying on the front and explains that it’s all the license he needs. (I kid you not)

STA spent about 4 years in Holland where he was inspired by custom motorcycles and trikes (tricycles). When he came back to Nigeria he decided he could build his own here. STA International’s first bike is the long-forked trike.

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Due to using his own funds, it’s a little underpowered with only a 250cc engine and a 10 liter tank. STA scrounged around and found the different parts, and put it all together himself. All total, he spent 300,000 Naira ($1,600) on it.

The bike has some very comfortable seating, a nice big sound system, 4 big silencers in the rear and drink holders for both driver and passengers. He can carry two passengers in the back, and there’s room under the seats for a little storage.

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The bike is kickstarted, which I wasn’t expecting at first as I’m used to bikes this big having an electrical starter. Makes sense though, as this is a small engine bought off of a used engine reseller. The trike also has a reverse gear, which comes in handy when the bike is as long as this one is, for maneuvering out of difficult spaces.

STA and I hung out a bit over the last few days. He’s got a real passion for modding bikes, and his next big plans include an even bigger trike, though he hasn’t fully fleshed out the design yet. I showed him some of the cool, retro, modded designs on Bike Exif and we talked a while about what a custom bike for African cities might actually look like.

Maker Faire Africa 2009 maker, Pat Delany, of the MultiMachine fame presents
“A full-scale machine shop” built along similar principles:

4 simple, cheap tools for Africa


In Design Observer Meena Kadri Interviews Emeka Okafor about Maker Faire Africa:

Meena Kadri
Maker Faire Africa is dubbed a celebration of African ingenuity, innovation and invention. What is the nature of the celebration?

Emeka Okafor
Many DIY-types — designers, inventors, hackers and tinkerers — in Africa work in isolation, so part of the celebration is about bringing them together to enhance, cross-pollinate and provide insights into the wider impact of their innovations on society. Taking the focus away from extractive ventures, we instead focus on those that are doing, making and producing. Globally there is a re-examination of manufacturing, production and design that is moving past the classical industrial sense and pointing to more distributed forms of production. Moving beyond mere celebration, there is also an interest in the interchange between these emerging global dynamics and local inspiration in Africa. This speaks to a far-reaching conversation in which the questions are posed: “How do we regain our creativity? How do we redefine what we mean by a society that is advanced?”

More here

In Kampala, Uganda, 3 engineers/IT experts had an idea to build a rugged computer kiosk from an oil drum – and along with a team of car mechanics they built a first prototype in February 2010, over the course of 3 days.

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Other prototypes have followed, and UNICEF, the government of Uganda, and NGO and private sector partners are preparing to roll out the first working models in the 2nd half of 2010 – at schools, youth centers, and other community access points. The goal for the community kiosk project is to create information access points for every village in Uganda, so that all citizens will have better access to critical health and educational material, as well as be able to access government services, view progress in development projects across the nation, and report on issues in their own communities.

The Digital Drum is coming to Maker Faire Africa 2010.

 

Dominic Wanjihia building the solar dryer he invented.

Dominic Wanjihia building the solar dryer he invented.

[Snipped from Afrigadget] Dominic Wanjihia is from Kenya, and he’s here at Maker Faire Africa in Ghana because of the innovative designs and solutions that he comes up with for problems that ordinary Africans face. We had profiled one of his earlier inventions, an evapocooler for camel milk in Somalia, last year.

He’s been in Accra this last week working in the timber yards in Makola building a food dryer and a food cooler to show at the event. Both of them use air, and the dryer takes advantage of the heat from the sun. More detailed posts will be coming on them, but here’s a few shots of him and the carpenters building the devices.

Read the full article at Afrigadget.com

A young Malawian built a windmill from scratch to help power the lights in his rural home, his name is William Kamkwamba.


We’re very excited to announce that William Kamkwamba, sponsored by his organization Moving Windmills, will be coming to Maker Faire Africa. I first met William at TED Africa two years ago in Arusha, Tanzania. His story, at that time, was only known by a few of us as we had written about him on AfriGadget – but that quickly changed when he got up on the TED stage for his interview.

Last week he was on the TED stage again, this time at TED Global in Oxford. He ends his talk by saying:

“To all the people out there like me — to the Africans, and the poor, and the struggling, maybe one day you’ll watch this on the Internet: Trust yourself and believe. Whatever happens, don’t give up.”

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Due to my having been involved with TED, and knowing William, I was given an early release of the new biography of William called, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind“. It’s not out yet, but will be released a couple weeks after MFA. It’s an incredibly well-written and poignant story of hope in rural Africa.

The Documentary

There is also a documentary coming out about William later in the year. Below is the trailer for it, and you can tell how good of a film this will be just from this snapshot: