Sarit Center, Nairobi
Oct 9-12, 2024

Wandongo

How Evans Wandongo’s MwangaBora Lamps Light Up Africa

Evans Wandongo’s story is not typical of a young investor. It is a tribute to resourcefulness, a light of hope, and the capacity of creativity to address real-world issues.

Wandongo’s adventure began in a community near Nairobi, Kenya, where the nights were dark because of a lack of electricity. As a child, he, like many others, relied on hazardous kerosene lanterns for illumination. These lamps posed a substantial health danger and hindered production after sunset.

With a yearning for a brighter future for himself and his community, 19-year-old Wandongo set out on a mission. What is his weapon of choice? Innovation. Wandongo invented the MwangaBora – Swahili meaning “good light” – using easily accessible materials, scrap metal, and his electronics knowledge. This brilliant innovation, a solar-powered lantern, became both a symbol of hope and a monument to the power of adolescent ingenuity.

The path to success, however, was not without its challenges. Wandongo’s limited access to resources and finance required him to be resourceful. But his determination shined more brightly. He concentrated on developing a lamp that was not only economical but also simple to manufacture in local communities, thereby encouraging entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.

The MwangaBora had a transformative impact. It has replaced harmful kerosene lamps, improved health results, and enabled countless students to continue learning after the sun goes down. The lamps, which are frequently manufactured from recycled materials, have also helped to ensure environmental sustainability.

Wandongo’s vision is significantly greater than the lamp itself. He empowers people via education and entrepreneurship efforts with his organization, Sustainable Development For All (SDFA) Kenya. He envisions a future in which invention continues to brighten lives, not just literally, but also by encouraging self-reliance and advancement.

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