Here at Konnect Africa, we share amazing stories each day of great men, women and children who despite the odds stacked against them continue to push the limits, carve their names on the finest bricks and inspire fellow Africans to be all they were created for.
Today we bring you the story of five young Nigerian graduates who through their determination, courage and awe-inspiring innovation have inspired other young Africans to seek their calling, occupy their spaces and brighten the continent.
Okoyenta Augustus, Okeke Chukwuebuka, Ofoegbu Kenechukwu, Ibekwe Ebenezer and Ezeani Chikeluba are students of the prestigious Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria who designed an aerodynamically stable mini version formula one car. The students who are all from the department of mechanical Engineering produced the race car as their final project in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Bachelor of Sciences in Engineering.
According to the initiator of the project, Okoyenta Augustus, the materials for the car were locally sourced and took them two years to put in place. The push, he reckons was to design a racing car with less air drag when in motion, using cost-effective materials and also to help other young people see how possible it is to create a product that would solve the needs of the country using available resources. The car which was designed in the shape of a fish was produced using a Kawasaki power engine and can be easily manipulated by a driver.
Augustus spoke with Vanguard Learning and he had this to say: –
“The achievement was not easy to come by; it took us days, weeks and months of hard work, sleepless nights, brainstorming and determination to succeed in the assignment. We used division of labour model, with each of us specialising in certain aspect of the design.
I designed the chassis, the suspension as well as the hub. Chikeluba designed the brake system. The transmission and steering systems were designed by Chukwuebuka. While Ebenezer focused on the ergonomics (comfort of the driver), Kenechukwu designed the body.”
The Auto-Zik Formula 1 Car idea has since birthed many other mind blowing ideas within the school community, like the wire drawing flux produced for manufacturers who are in the business of drawing wires and also the pencil lead which was made using locally sourced materials.
Indeed, the solution we seek lies within us, we only need to discover it and maximize it, not just for our own benefit but to make the world a brighter place.
For this ingenious Nigerian quintuplet, this is just the beginning of greater achievements for our dear continent. The future is bright and promising.