18 September 2019
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Meet Gift Wyson – a teenage innovator extraordinaire

Written by  Emmanuel Kanzimbi
Gift and his machine, Pic by Emmanuel Kanzimbi -Mana Gift and his machine, Pic by Emmanuel Kanzimbi -Mana

Phalombe, May 16, 2019: Hisinterestinpoking inhisfather’sbusinessand the ability to ask difficult questions yielded him the invention of an electronic machine that performs four different unrelated tasks.

Gift Wyson, 16, is one interesting teenager with great enthusiasm for electronics that dazzles members of his community.

His new machine works as money auto-teller, photocopier, wind vane and chemical tester.

“With this machine, I can determine the types of chemicals that are in a fluid,” says Gift, a Form Two student at Holy Family Community Day Secondary School in Phalombe.

“I have developed personal identification codes for the chemicals which I use to determine the type of chemical that is present in a particular liquid,” he adds.

Using his other machine, simply called chemical mixer, Gift managed to create a strong drug for toothache and some people in his community testified to have been healed by the concoction.
 
Gift explains that when he began making the chemical, he was not sure whether he would breakthrough and be able to heal any oral ailment.

“I had some doubts but the first medical concoction that I made to heal toothache really fired me up to continue with my discoveries,” he says.

The young innovator attributes his success to inventing the electronic machine and the chemical tester to Physics and Chemistry lessons that he gets from his secondary school education.

“When I learn things in class, I do not simply understand them for the sake of obtaining good grades during examinations.

“I usually try to apply the basic principles to my everyday life activities hence translating the lessons from class into the operation of these machines,” Gift says.

He adds that the achievements he has registered with the machines have given him confidence to be more ambitious.

“I really wish I could secure financial support to enable me carry out other experiments that continue to bother my mind,” Gift says.

Meanwhile, he says, he aspires to invent the first Malawian motor engine and calculator.
“I think this is doable,” he says, confidently.

However, being born in a poor family, resources have always been the main constraint for Gift to realise his dreams.

“I also plan to build an electricity generating engine when I have obtained enough education to take me to that level,” he says.

“I always dream for big things in life though I know that it will be difficult to find resources to continue with education to a higher level as well as finance my future inventions,” he adds.

It is easy for one to conclude that the mechanical ingenuity runs through the blood of the Wysons because Gift’s father, Richard, is a renowned auto-mobile mechanic.

The father, who neither attained tertiary nor secondary education, has an enviable motorbike maintenance track record in that he has literary become the village’s icon on issues of mechanical works.

“I acquired these skills gradually from the time I was working as an assistant to a mechanic somewhere.

“Over time, I learnt motorbike maintenance such that I can dismantle it into pieces and reassemble it without missing any part,” Gift’s father says.

Previously, the father made a helicopter which took off and flew a short distance in his compound.

“It simply involved making the body and placing two motors connected to fans, one on top of the helicopter and another at the tail. The helicopter was ready to scale the heights.

His other milestone in his mechanical career was when he developed a battery charger.

Asked why he has not been able to take his skills to another level, Wyson attributes the stagnation to poverty.

“He claims his family’s status did not allow him to attain any basic education despite having interest to do so.

“When I finished primary school, there was no opportunity for bursary to enable me progress to secondary school.

“Moreover, my family needed support for its daily survival as our parents grew older and could not provide for all of us,” says Gift’s father, who was brought up in a family of six.

He adds that this is why he is even struggling to boost his mechanical work to make more money and eventually support his son’s ambitions.

Phalombe District Youth Officer Ian Sukali acknowledges Gift’s talent saying given the required support and education, the boy has potential to become one of the innovators in the country.

Sukali, therefore, says it is in the interest of the department of youth to see young people with such talent being supported by all concerted parties to realise their dreams.

“Young people like Gift have the potential to put Malawi on the world map through their innovations.

“Such innovations will not only make them famous but also be the genesis of Malawian made products which can be of export quality,” says Sukali citing Gift’s calculator.

To this effect, Sukali, calls on organisations and other stakeholders in youth development to invest in talents such as Gift’s as part of youth empowerment.

“Eventually, such innovations will address the issue of unemployment in the country.

Currently, the country is already suffering from high unemployment and though the youth are doing well in school, there is no guarantee that they can secure employment,” he says.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, the current youth unemployment rate stands at 23 percent.

Analysts say the situation calls for the creation of a robust environment that would enable the youth initiate self-employment interventions.

It is a widely accepted notion that poor people with talents remain unrecognised until those with good will and resources unearth such skills and expose the same to the outside world.

Meanwhile, the talented Gift continues to waste his talent on small things while hopelessly looking forward to a day when a Good Samaritan will beckon to sponsor his innovations.

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