When cars were made they were luxury items, only for those who had a lot of money to spare. Today many around the world have cars and it has become a necessity because it’s relatively cheap.
It is no news that there are still a lot of people who don’t yet have cars or ‘big boy toys’ as some would call them due to the economic situation in the country.
Henry Ford believed that the common man should be able to drive cars, and yes he was able to achieve it to a large extent during his time. After that era, several others have entered the business of making cars.
Nigeria is not left out as we have different set of people who have attempted at different times to make it a reality, but there’s this man who has a ‘never-die’ spirit as far as car manufacturing is concerned.
Our guest for this episode of #TheInspiredDream is Durojaiye Kehinde Obasanjo, a Nigerian who has put his dogged spirit to work in several ways at several times. He has been inventing since he was 6 years old. He has kept doing it and today he has invented a car that can both move on land, and sea. He is even working on making it fly if he can get the required funds.
He says, “the kind of flying cars we are trying to build are more safer than aircrafts. If the engine shuts down, instead of it to nosedive, it would land like a parachute. If it is on the sea, it cannot sink, it would remain there until help comes or one can use solar system to reactivate the engine. It uses solar and combustion engine. It is hybrid. Even if it has an accident, there’s no problem. It uses the same materials they use to build life jackets.”
While I was interviewing him, I was thinking…’do we have a hub in Nigeria, where people would have the resources and equipments to innovate or invent new things without any form of interference?’
He has a dream that when the car is completed, anytime there is traffic jam, anyone driving the car, would just change the system to fly mode and it would begin to fly. It can go more than 400 meters above sea level.
Painfully, he also said that there was one he built recently that can move on land and sea and could fly, but was destroyed by some local government officials in Ikotun without any reason. He had the intention of showing it to President Muhammadu Buhari.
When I was in the university, I saw the movie ‘3 idiots’ which showcases Indias technology and creative thinking. While interviewing Obasanjo, I thought: ‘Our film producers could also contact him to use his cars in a movie to preserve it in the minds of people.’ That would go a long way in repositioning Nigeria’s tech industry. Other inventors and investors would begin to show interest, and within a few years we would begin export out technology to other parts of the world.
I have always believed that certain things are innate, they are not learned. Obasanjo is one of such examples. One might think he was taught to be an inventor in Harvard or Yale, but no, it’s all innate. As a matter of fact, he started inventing when he was six years old. He is a genius and Nigeria must celebrate him.
He never trained as an inventor. He has been doing it from his childhood. He however studied Electronic and Computer Engineering in Lagos State University, Ojo.
His work is all encompassing covering all aspects of engineering, including computer, electrical, chemical, marine, aeronautic engineering, etc.
He said he still has the goal of studying aeronautic engineering.
How the Wright brothers built the aeroplane came to my mind while interviewing him. I read how Orville and Wilbur wright who were bycicle repairers were able to fly the first plane. They wouldn’t have been the first if Langley had not given up. Langley was a well read man who tried in inventing the first plane but gave up after several failed attempts.
I used that story to encourage him to continue in his path because many people who are doing astounding things often time get discouraged by little things. He said he has been on this flying car since 1990 when Babangida was in power.
The Nigerian government needs to support people like this with the required funds, environment and exposure. He said, ‘abroad, they are exposed to research funds, that is how they have built flying cars.’ He even said that Nigeria has the capacity to mass produce his cars with the raw materials available.
His cars, which he called aero-amphibious cars are products that the Nigeria government need to support in order to make Nigeria a self-sufficient Nation.
As I was interviewing him, it occurred to me to ask him for his succession plan. I believe that a success is only a success when he has been able to raise many other successes. He said he has been trying to train youths in his Yaba research center. He also has people that he works with.
It’s been my pleasure to bring to you a very special edition of #TheInspiredDream. I hope you are inspired to wake up your dreams and become someone your country can be proud of.
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Till next time,
I’m yours truly,
(Author, Speaker and Coach)
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