thinking out of the paper packaging box in which the original table would have had to be shipped in
thinking out of the paper packaging box in which the original table would have had to be shipped in

This morning Shane sent me this photograph with the caption, “These guys won’t sit back and wish for things they can’t have”, and I immediately thought to myself: “Innovation”, and then defined the word in my mind as “Making use of what you have to get what you want.”

I was impressed with myself – anyone who wants to make use of that quote, please ensure you attribute it to me – Simon Kaheru, February 10, 2012.

As you go about your work, think about these guys above.

If we were a more organised society, the government people in charge of innovation (would that be the Ministry of Technology and Industry or something – which we don’t have…or the Uganda National Institute of Science and Technology?) would run up to that village, take those kids up and insert them into some programme that will make them great inventors.

It is kids like these above who are going to come up with a once-and-for-all solution to the potholes in Kampala – or the answer to all the nonsensical problems we suffer on a daily across the country.

Discussing this on another forum, Guma declared himself to be too shy to make his comments public, but suggested that the problem with the above is that the government might not be willing to take the kids and their ideas up.

I think otherwise – the objective is not for the government itself to pay but for us (the private sector and whatnot) to make use of them.

If this mud and wattle table gets seen by more people, for example, somebody should think of setting up a chain of such tables while somebody else makes balls out of some local material…

Then, the money that has been rolling out in $s to import those tables you see by the roadside will instead stay here and get used to do more serious things or perhaps get channelled into buying tractors and more useful equipment than pool tables.

Meanwhile, hotels will begin to crop up in Moroto with mud and wattle furniture because these kids have shown us it is possible…and it will be listed as one of the world’s great places to visit because of the novelty of sitting on a mud bench as one sips stuff like Ugandan grown and brewed tea.

6 thoughts on “innovation

  1. @Mategyero: Indeed – but instead of a Nobel (and I hope I don’t sound too crusader-ish), what about we create an African-inspired prize that more of us will be able to identify with rather than just identify?


  2. @Samson: That’s easy – they build it in such a manner that it does not run off due to rains. Our ancestors built mud and wattle houses that stood centuries in spite of the rain.


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