Today’s guest is Wassihun Teffera. He is an inventor. He was born and raised in Goljota village, Arsi Negele, West Arsi, Oromia State. At this point in time, he is a second year Electro Mechanical Engineering student at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University (AASTU) found around Akaky Kaliti, Kilinto area. He is a member and founder of the Koket Group. He pursued primary and secondary education at his place of birth and Arsi Negele in that order.
Likewise, he is winning the hearts and minds of most people through his ground-breaking innovative works. When the innovator’s works come into effect, they will undoubtedly take the country to a new chapter of success in no time at all. Nobody had expected the innovator would reach where he is in the present day. Most people were in the habit of pouring cold water on his efforts. They were constantly giving him the cold shoulder including his parents.
Considering Wassihun’s great achievements in his world-shattering innovative works, he had been showered with a range of gold medals for three consecutive years from the Ministry of Science and Technology. Hence, he grew to be the talk of most people and high government officials within the shortest time possible. Time and again, he comes up with a range of innovative works which make the lives of the general public simpler and smarter. Just to mention a few, control smart home devices, smart lamp switch, digital stove, multipurpose oven, modern plastic road, different software applications and what not.
The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with Wassihun Teffera with a view to acquainting readers with his world-shattering innovative works. Excerpts:
How did you get yourself involved in invention works?
As a child, I was dreaming of becoming a different person. I was dreaming of becoming an inventor. Over and over again, the idea was coming in and out of my mind. At that specific point, whenever I informed my friends a kind of apparatus I would like to invent down the road, they did not easily understand me.
Therefore, all my efforts went for nothing. Some time ago, as there was no electricity in our area, most radios were battery operated. As a child, whenever we talked about radio, my friends informed me the fact that there were people in the radio speaker. I was always eager to see the people.
At some point, before a cock crows, my dad left the house. In a little while, I embarked on unscrewing the radio. The radio was infested with cockroaches. But I could not find a single person in the left, right and center of the radio except loud speaker, transistors, tuning capacitor, long wave-medium wave switch, audio transformers, volume control, battery compartment and what have you. Nobody was around.
In due course, I failed to assemble the radio. I did not know what I had to do. I felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. I felt like a fish out of water. At first, I thought I could do everything standing on my head.
However, no matter how hard I made an effort, my dream could not come true. We were living a hand to mouth life. At the end of the day, when I directly applied electricity to the radio devoid of the knowledge of power basic management, it all of a sudden stopped working. In fact, I did not have an inkling of idea about the dos and don’ts of the radio. Thus, all my efforts went astray.
Flipping back to the gist, when I was a ninth grader, I set in motion actively engaging myself in invention works. As I have tried to mention so far, there was no electricity in our vicinity. Just then, I was using my own light bulb. It was my invention. I had my own power source, power supply, among others. For me, it was not a big deal. As invention was my hobby, I did not place much emphasis on my work values.
Tell us about chapter and verse of your first invention works.
As I was excellent at invention works, I was harvesting the fruit of success from time to time. As chance would have it, I put on show my first work in Arsi Negele concerning the celebration of the Anniversary of May 28.
At that specific juncture, I came up with thirteen models or so. It was held at Technical and Vocational Education and Training center. There was Innovative Center Members in the workshop. When I asked the teacher responsible for the center to allow me to join the center, he was not in the position to lend me his ears. He simply turned a deaf ear. Though I boldly told him the fact that I could do anything he wanted, he gave me the cold shoulder. He considered me as a good-for-nothing person.
Someday, I designed a free power system in a piece of paper and showed the teacher. This time, the teacher mockingly and sarcastically said, “You are a wonderful student. Nobody can keep abreast of you.”
He made me a laughing stock. Nobody was on my side. He really made me feel small in this regard. I was not desperate for invention works no matter what the cost may be. I was constantly badgering the teacher. I did not easily give up hope.
At a loss what to do, the teacher ordered me to make a mini saw. I almost immediately made the saw because making the saw for me was bordering on a walk in the park.
Though the teacher could not believe his eyes, he was not willing to forward his appreciation. As a devoted student, I kept on spending my time in the library. As luck would have it, through hard work and determination, I made a stove.
How did the idea of making stove spring to your mind?
At some point, when I came within reach of a stove, it was very warm. After a long fight with my thoughts, I reached into a conclusion to make stove bringing into play a cartoon box. The stove was able to make a cake in 23 minutes time.
Moreover, it was possible to boil water on the stove in a short time. I grew to be the talk of all and sundry. All our teachers were taken by surprise.
Sooner or later, I joined the innovative Center Members with the purpose of making my dream become a reality. Except accepting the reality on the ground willy-nilly, the teacher could not utter a word. Everyone had full confidence in me.
Slowly but surely, I set in motion winning the hearts and minds of most people. I am not a money-oriented person. Everybody was fully interested in my presentation. To be quite honest, there is nothing which makes me happier than coming up with inventive works. My second work was known as control smart home devices.
What is all about control smart home devices?
As I bend over backwards time and again, I came up with smart home devices. When I was a high school student, I came up with inventive works. In plain language, if somebody in one’s absence comes home, the device can easily sends information about the person using one’s cell phone in the blink of an eye.
The only thing that we do is, we plant a certain small device somewhere in one’s residential house. The device has got its own box comprising a range of things.
Be that as it may, I discovered a wireless power transmission. That means, electrical energy can be conducted from a power source to an electrical load devoid of interconnecting wires. Without exaggeration, it plays a major role in the place where linking wires are problematic, perilous and the like.
Do people encourage you to succeed?
Every so often, most Ethiopian high government officials encourage me. Everybody is happy at the moment. They believe in my innovative ability. When I was a high school student, Shiferaw Shigute, the former Ministry of Education came to see my work. After he saw the whole thing he forwarded his respect and appreciation. As well, he told me the fact that I would be a great man within the shortest time possible if I keep on working at that pace.
When, why and how did you establish Koket group?
I am founder and managing member of Koket group. By the way, in Afaan Oromoo language, Ko means mine and Ket means yours. Koket is officially established in 2018. The intended target of the association is to manufacture a range of machines in the country.
Moreover, it produces and puts up for sale a range of software applications. At the moment, we can design different machines with no trouble. We can do anything which could be done abroad. We can also design soft wares with no trouble.
At this point in time, all my efforts are bearing fruit. In the same way, we manufacture oven with a fair and reasonable price. Everything is at our doorstep.
While we are on the subject, I would like to compete with Samsung and LG Companies. I am fully confident in myself. I can do anything under the sun with no trouble. I have passed through many ups and downs to reach where I am today.
In fact, we design the stove for low-income-communities. We would like to make the lives of the general public simpler and smarter. Similarly, we can manufacture smart lamp switch.
For instance, if we go somewhere leaving switch light bulbs, televisions, stoves and other related aspects off, we can turn them off wherever we are without a distance barrier.
In this invention, we can win the hearts and minds of anyone in a jiffy. As we are living in the modern world, we can control everything as we wish. Everything is at our doorstep.
What other benefits do we secure out of the inventions?
We secure a lot of advantages out of the inventions. To elaborate, the country does not have an adequate amount of electric power.
In reality, electricity has been used in various government organizations. More often than not, most of them are not seen turning light bulbs off. Wastages are being witnessed in this regard.
However, if we apply smart lamp switch technologies in every nook and cranny of the country, we can minimize wastage. The invention is reliable and durable. In this fashion, we can achieve the intended target at the drop of a hat.
What about the plastic road?
We make asphalt roads out of plastics. We do a great job out of used plastics. If we take as an example, plastics have been spoiling the environment we live in from time to time.
By its very nature, we do not import asphalted road from aboard. But bringing into play used plastics, we can build attention-grabbing asphalt roads. For asphalt roads construction, we grind used plastics. This time, they turn out to be very tiny. Then, we melt small ingredients as they can carry a heavy load when they all come together.
As a matter of fact, there are techniques in which we do asphalt road. Nothing can affect plastic roads seeing that they are better than the normal asphalted roads in many ways. For example, if the roads are chipped, we can replace them with original ones.
After we get everything ready, we simply put down the readymade asphalted road on the road intended for this purpose. To be honest, the plastic road can easily melt anybody’s heart. It is very strong.
If the asphalted road is chipped after twenty or so years, one can simply replace them with new ones. To be honest, asphalted roads do not retain water. But cobblestone can retain water without difficulty.
Here, the good thing is, the new technology can have power over everything. That means, the water can easily flow to any direction apart from smoothening the progress of the water system. The whole lot concerning the plastic road is over.
What we do need is only a sponsor at this point. We are hunting for sponsors. If prosperous people work with us, they can easily harvest the fruit of success.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT