• Seek support for mass production, to create employment
By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor
TELEVISION personality, Oprah Winfrey, once told her audience: “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.”
Smarting from the burden of a broken home and the challenge of lacking maternal care after being raised by their father without a silver spoon, Taiwo and Kehinde Ilesanmi at a very young age decided to brave the odds and act on their inquisitive minds.
It is little wonder then that most of their inventions are solutions to the intractable power problems the country has been grappling with for decades.
Walking past them on the road, they could easily be mistaken for one of the numerous destitute children pounding the streets of Lagos, but today, at age 25, they are proud owners of some innovative wholly made-in-Nigeria products that are sure to meet a dire need in most parts of the country.
Patented under their registered trademark Tikemade, some of their fascinating products include a rechargeable desktop that can be used to charge one’s phone for at least two weeks and a wireless extension connected to home appliances that can be remotely controlled by a mobile phone from anywhere in the world.
It’s not ended, in their bag of inventions are a security foot-mat that immediately notifies you on your mobile phone when someone steps on it in your absence, rechargeable lamp and a device that automatically switches off your generating set once electricity is restored and also change over the electrical switchboard from the generating set to PHCN.
Explaining the magic of their products, which are miles ahead of the imported China or Japanese appliances that flood the Nigerian market, Taiwo said once the rechargeable desktop is charged for about two hours, that is what the small bowl-like device needs to charge at least 10 mobile phones of different charging ports at a time for upwards of two weeks.
“This device is highly needed in areas where access to electricity or generating set is scarce and such communities abound in this country. There is also a USB cord to connect it with modern gadgets and a space for desktop battery charging. The chargers of all major brands of phones are also attached to the device.”
“For the wireless extension, it is an extension box where all home appliances can be connected to. The extension box can be controlled with a mobile phone. In the event that you are not around and you forgot to switch off your appliance before leaving home, you can dial a code on your mobile phone and all the appliances connected to the extension would be switched off without the network service provider deducting any money from your credit.”
“It is free on any network and it is universal, meaning it can be operated from any part of the world. We are already working on our next project, which is a Nigerian-made FM radio,” Taiwo boasted.
Interestingly, all the materials for their products are sourced locally. Apart from a version of the regular rechargeable lamps, which can be found in most homes in Nigeria, also in their kitty is a security foot-mat. Anywhere it is placed, once activated, it will immediately notify you on your mobile phone if someone steps on it, especially in your absence.
These gifted twins hail from Ondo State, but live in Ejigbo, Lagos State. They have since their tender ages at St. Jonah Nursery and Primary School, Daleko Ejigbo, been interested in technological discovery. As kids, they would dismantle little handheld devices to satisfy their curiosity and couple them back.
Never far apart from each other, they proceeded to Ajumoni Grammar School, Okota and in no time joined the school’s Junior Engineering Technology (JET) club. Once settled in the club, they explored their inventive minds and helped win some laurels for the school.
Their efforts didn’t go unrewarded, as they were bestowed with the Best Student in Creativity award before concluding their secondary education.
It was at this point they got stuck. With no funds to further their education, they enrolled in a School of Aviation based in Ikotun, while devoting their energies to their fast fingers and taking the brave effort to push out some of their products.
“Our major concern now is marketing these products. They are useful, sellable and a solution to many people’s problems. All our products have warranty and we can be reached anywhere if there are problems with it. We give six months warranty on all the products. After the warranty period has elapsed, we would still repair the products at a reasonable cost because we are the manufacturers, this is the edge our products have over China products,” Taiwo said.
“Many of those who have seen these products are responding positively by demanding for more but we are unable to meet up with the rising demand because of the financial burden of mass production. We, therefore, need partners that would support us in mass-producing these products for the benefits of all Nigerians. Also, this will reduce unemployment in Nigeria, as it will create jobs. We need technology to advance the country and encourage other people with similar ideas too,” Kehinde noted.
The twins can be reached on 07045285650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.