rongaiThere’s a mad man on the loose in Rongai. He’s 28 years old, medium height; last seen giving a media interview.

Eugene Awimbo is building a rocket. Yes, you heard that right. A freakin rocket.

I have long suspected that our education system is mostly a failure, but I think now the evidence is out. In an interview with Standard newspaper, Awimbo said that he is optimistic that he will get into orbit one day. His dream of becoming a rocket scientist started at the age of 5.

“I came across a documentary on TV and was fascinated by German V-2 rockets. I then started building a foot-long rocket and stuffed it with with a mixture of ground charcoal, sulphur and potassium nitrate,” he says.

In 2009, living in Mombasa, Awimbo launched his first ‘rocket’. Reportedly, he easily got permission to fly from the air traffic control, since the threat of terror was low at that time.

“I was granted permission on condition that I would not hit people’s homes. I put a cat inside the rocket because I wanted to know if my rocket could carry a living, breathing organism and also what effect this would have on its performance. The rocket disappeared never to be seen again but the cat came back after five days,” he says.

He then made another rocket, codename Heart-Quake Two, which was 4.5 metres tall but did not do well after the ignition burnt up.
Not giving up, Awimbo embarked on making Heart-Quake Three, which was 2.5 metres tall. He says its performance was much better.

“It also carried a cat and soared 100 metres high. The cat looked confused when the rocket came down but it recovered after a few minutes,” he says. He went a notch higher with Heart-Quake Four, which was 3.75 metres tall and soared 200 metres high.

Finally he says, “I would like to send one to orbit and be the first African to land on Mars one day,”

I hate to be the buzz killer, but Awimbo, it ain’t happening.

First and foremost, what you’re calling a rocket looks more of a missile. Secondly, I don’t believe any of your ‘prototypes’ have ever left the ground, leave alone project a cat a hundred metres high.

Even if that happened, trust me there must be some laws of physics to explain it, but you’re definitely not any closer to sending your ‘rocket’ to space than you were when you started.

This is clearly a young brilliant mind who is misdirecting his efforts. I know I’ll receive a lot of name calling, but if you’re looking for a guy to pat your back and tell you to keep on when there’s clearly no hope, I ain’t your guy.

Frankly, I will feel bad when anyone encourages this young man to continue doing what he’s doing when we all know it’s leading nowhere.

I don’t believe he has relevant education, so even NASA would not want anything to do with him.

Let me tell you the story of Sangulani Chikumbutso. He is a Zimbabwean inventor quite famous in his home country. He understands the world we live in, and strives to make practical objects.

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Sangulani Chikumbutso, Zimbabwean Inventor

Theoretically, he can make ‘Rockets’ like our guy in Rongai, but he knows what the world needs.

His company, Saith Technologies, has this year launched a drone, a helicopter, power generator, surveillance towers, mobile broadcast communication backpack, intelligent IP Mesh backpack and household transformer that can multiply power a hundredfold. All these have some aspect of innovative technology and not just copying what the Americans did.

Here are some photos of his products.

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saith15Images via Techzim.co.zw

The Zimbabwean may or may not sell his product, but the Kenyan is assured he’ll never sell anything. So Kenyan inventors, lets be clever.

Additional reporting by Standard Digital