An aspiring engineer’s dream on the rocks

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The wooden Tuk Tuk and motorcycle that were crafted and made by Andrew Muchilwa
The wooden Tuk Tuk and motorcycle that were crafted and made by Andrew Muchilwa

Without any form of education in mechanical engineering, a 16-year-old boy Andrew Muchilwa has shocked many with his engineering knowledge. His mind-boggling ability has left many bewildered and people aren’t sure whether he is a genius or just talented. The boy dropped out of school when he was in Form One at Ebusiloli secondary school in Vihiga county, Emuhaya sub-county due to lack of school fees. That didn’t hinder him from pursuing his dreams, though.  Andrew still had a passion for making creative, extraordinary, things out of wood.

When we arrived at his father’s home in Ebusiloli village, the boy was very jovial and he was happy to see us. Curious about his ability, people from far and wide throng their home to sample the boy’s creative ability, notably crafting a Tuk Tuk and a motorcycle out of wood, and much more stuff.

According to Muchilwa, he was inspired to craft and make a Tuk Tuk after seeing one passing near his village. After several trials and modifications, he came up with the tricycle that has shocked the whole village.

Muchilwa riding his wooden motorcycle
Muchilwa riding his wooden motorcycle

To our amazement, the young boy had even done intricate electrical wiring in their home, as a result of this, he could use a phone battery to light the house for 3 consecutive days as long as the battery was fully charged. This not only benefits his family during the rainy season, but also other people from the neighborhood, given that they use the light when fetching water.

“I picked wires and tied them together all around the house, then bought normal torch bulbs that go for Ksh. 30 and connected them to the wires before getting the phone battery, specifically the Nokia phones battery,” Muchilwa said.

He has made a Tuk Tuk and a motorbike and as a matter of fact, the car can carry up to three children. Both don’t require fuel given that gravitational pull is enough as they move downhill.

The boy made a motorcycle recently and he explains that he uses it to carry his belongings, fertilizer and sometimes sand. He also says that he uses his pickup and motorcycle for commercial purposes and he earns up to Ksh. 200 per trip for carrying sand for his clients and uses the money to buy sugar, salt, and other basic items for the family.

Surprisingly, the pick-up has what Andrew calls as his driver, who is a standard eight pupil at Ebusiloli primary school. Gideon Were; the driver, says he never honed his driving skills anywhere. Even more astounding is the fact that the pick-up has brakes, and one may wonder how they have been made. Well, Andrew has made productive rope-like strings from a mosquito net to make the brakes.

Muchilwa has a dream of becoming an engineer in future but in order to achieve this, he needs school fees, and he has appealed to the county and national government to help him raise school fees in order to complete his Secondary School education.

His father Elijah Inyangala at first did not like his son’s decision and always rebuked him when he saw him collecting trash to use for his gadgets. To him, that was a waste of time, and he expected his son to focus on education. Later, he was happy with his son’s ventures, after seeing what he could do.

He added that his son took over his traits because he also used to craft things when he was young. He hopes sufficient money will be available to take his son back to school to gain more knowledge and improve his skills. Elijah said that he has been to most county and government offices to look for bursaries in order to educate his son but he has never succeeded, and he wonders what kind of leaders are serving Kenyans if they can’t support talents and natural skills.

The parents are seeking help from well-wishers and the government to facilitate their son’s talent nurturing back in school.