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Celebrating African talent: Kelvin Doe

At the young age of 13 Kelvin Doe had already created a big future for himself, his community and Africa at large. This is the story of Kelvin Doe, the young engineer from Sierra Leone.

Kelvin Doe was born on 26 October 1996 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. In unusual circumstances, Kelvin Doe taught himself engineering at the tender age of 13. Such was the burning zeal and unabated ambition of Kelvin Doe such that he even set up his own radio station, gaining the name DJ Focus. He says that he called himself DJ Focus because he believes that if you put in all your focus you will come up with a perfect invention. He built the FM radio transmitter from scrap metal and with this radio station he played music and broadcast news. He used discarded metal, cargo boxes and cables to invent batteries and working generators. The generators that even helped with lighting in his poor community.

This astonishing work saw him emerging as a finalist for GMin’s Innovate Salon Idea Competition with a generator made by soda, acid and metal, and wrapped together with tape. That competition led him to meet David Sengeh at a summer camp organized by Innovate Salon. Sengeh is a MIT PhD. student.  Sengeh then invited Doe to the MIT Visiting Practitioners Program as the youngest ever participant. His accomplishments and amazing experience were documented and went viral. When the video went viral, his story was picked up by CNN, NBC News and The Huffington Post. He inspired billions of people and his videos even got watched more than United States President Barack Obama’s election speech, he says. After this huge success story, Doe presented at the TEDxTeen in 2012 and also lectured to undergraduate engineering students at Harvard University.

In 2013 things got even bigger for the young Kelvin Doe, as he signed a  $100,000 solar project pact with Canadian High Speed Service Provider Sierra WiFi. At present Doe is the CEO of his own company  called KDoe-Tech Inc. He also founded the Kelvin Doe Foundation and he constantly works on new inventions and shares them on his Twitter account. The latest gadgets include an emergency shoe charger and something to help people trace lost mobile phones.

Such is a pleasant story of young Africans who are striving to make a change in their communities and the continent at large. Africa yearns for more youngsters like these who proffer inspiring innovation that will change the lives of the people for the better. We ought to celebrate, support and appreciate such novelty that is in the midst of us on this lovely continent of Africa.


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1 Response

  1. Sipho Mahlangu

    this is an amazing story fam. Due to the wars, Sierra Leone is like 50 yrs behind the rest of the 3rd world as far as development & infrastructure are concerned. I was in SL for like a year just before Ebola broke out recently. This young man is truly a black diamond.

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