African Ingenuity 74 Comments

When remote African finds an inventive solution to a technical problem he or she is having. The innovations I find are inspirational.

Like  this interesting story about a man in Kenya who created a plane from scratch. Using a Volkswagen engine, aluminum sheets and other parts, the man made a single-seat plane.

He tested it out at an airstrip and sure enough, it took off. Caught up in the excitement of the minute, he decided to fly to his home.

A few minutes into the ride, he noticed the engine was overheating. He decided to turn and in the process the low flying plane struck a tree top and crash landed. He was injured in the leg and has had a limp ever since.

Or this via Afrigadget is a motorized bicycle seen above, made in Kenya.  This $100 Kenyan bike engine quickly converts any bicycle to a 100 mpg motorbike.

They hold about 1/2 gallon of gas and can get theoretically around 100 miles per gallon. They cost less than 100$ American. To start the bicycle you start pedaling manually, then you flip a switch on the left handle that starts the engine. Then you have a normal motorcycle throttle control on the right side.

74 Responses to “African Ingenuity”

  1. 1 Alazhar

    Hahahaha……………..The plane story was sooo funny I’m still laughing

  2. 2 Dinich


    I have met this Ethiopian man here in Canada, around 70 years old, who made an aeroplane (or was it be a helicopter can’t remember) from a volkswagen engine and also some explosives I believe back in the 60s.

    To prove it he still has copies of the newspapers (GazeTTa) where he made the headlines. He carries it in his bag and shows it to ppl every chance he gets.

  3. 3 Anonx

    Every fourth of July I make a rocket, with some explosives. Haven’t made it to outer space yet, but I reckon if I add VW engine, I will.

  4. 4 Totit

    Endeee the plane is already invented…so is the motorbike…we r a 100 years back I guess…
    I like we extensively recycle though…:)

  5. 5 Nolawi

    Shit whatchu talking about willis- there is no motorbike that takes you 100 miles in 1/2 gallon of gas.

    The best bike goes 70miles in 1 gallon – so that is almost 3 times the fuel efficiency than a BMW!

    By the way check out Afrigator

    its full of efficiencies!

  6. 6 DawitK

    The power of imagination…
    I love to read about people and their ability to transform ideas into practical realities!

  7. 7 Mamitu

    I remember a few years back while visiting Ethiopia and riding around in a rented car, the car broke down and my DH opened the hood to see what could be the problem, lo and behold, there were a bunch of things that he could not recognize as parts of a car. They have changed most of the parts with what we used to call “modifiq” or something that is built up to match the original. As they say, scarcity is the mother of invention.

  8. 8 Selam

    Love the Afrigator site :) Thx

  9. 9 embrt

    god knows how many brilliant minds are hidden by poverty.

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  11. 11 biskut

    How true !!!


  12. 12 SelamT is one to check for events.

  13. 13 Korki

    Thanks SelamT

  14. 14 LoveJones

    Human imagination and the ability to solve problems is unthinkable. When humans are pushed to the limit, we are able to surpass difficiencies. For example, look at Cuba. Cuba has not had a single import of cars since the early 70s or so but are able to rework, reinvent, and modernize these vehicles to run efficiently. Cuba gets hit by hurracaines every single year and they have the least number of deaths. Mind you, it’s an island. We here in the US were/are lost and don’t know how to lend a helping hand when hurracaines hit NewOrleans or Houston/Galveston.

    The human spirit is not limited to the governing power but also the ability to get through adversity.

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    Biskut korki???? = why u be yergo zinb?
    Korki Biskut?????? = yimeleketishal??

  16. 16 bez

    creative but i dont think i would be willing to ride with a tank of gasoline right between my legs lol

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    Sometimes your situation forces you to think of things you wouldn’t normally come up with. I have to say though, that bike doesn’t look too safe to me. A tank of gas, just like that? Hmmm, each to their own I suppose.

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