In Africa, there is a certain age one achieves and the society expects them to be on the verge of achieving a certain presupposed milestone.
For example when approaches thirty and there is no relationship seeming to lead to marriage, members of the community which often include your parents begin to raise eyebrows, the norm is however changing, though at a snails speed and getting married is no longer considered a milestone as most are not constant given the big number of divorces.
Well, in Laikipia County, there seems to be a more positive expectation from the members of the community, at the age of 30 years, Laikipia residents are mostly expected to be innovators!
Well, that was my honest observation when I visited the Laikipia 2019 Innovation Fair, a number of those I got to speak to said “you know I’m turning 30 years and life seems to be passing by so I wondered what have I created for my legacy in this World,’ profound statement that left me feeling challenged.
Laikipia residents’ can hence be said to metamorphosis into innovators, whether employed or not while approaching 30 years of age.
Samson Maina Creates Amazing Furniture Using Waste Cartons, newspapers and wheat flour.
What good can come out of old newspapers and cartons even after repackaging? For most people, cartons and newspapers can only be used to help light a fire but for Samson Maina from Laikipia County, these products and a packet of wheat flour can create all manner of furniture.
30-year-old Samson Maina is married and blessed with two children, a 3-year-old and a 9months old. Samson is a physiotherapist and has been practicing for the last seven years.
“I did physiotherapy at Kenyatta University and finished in 2009, after years of tarmacking looking for a job, I gave up and joined a friend who did welding for a living to learn and be able to make something for myself,” Samson says adding that he worked with his welding friend for two years.
Where did Your Inspiration?
“I got an opportunity at St. Martin in Nanyuki to practice physiotherapy with a 2-year contract, I began in 2014,” Samson shares.
“It is at St. Martin that I realized the gap for affordable solutions for my patients, standing aids were limited given they are expensive,” Samson says adding that his experience as a Welder came in handy.
“I began the project with the aim of creating a solution for my patients, I would gather cartons together and newspapers and make a mixture of wheat flour and stick the cartons together, then I would use the newspapers to stick them together,” Samson informs.
“In 2013, a foreigner visited St. Martin and saw the standing aid I had made; he was impressed and even funded me to travel to Uganda to train community groups on paper technology,” Samson says adding that he hopes to grow the project to especially providing aid options to the challenged.
Products Samson has made from the Cartons, Newspapers, and mixture of wheat flour
One of the products that attracted us to Samson’s stand was a magnificent seat that he sat on a bookshelf that placed next to the seat
There were walking aids,” these are walking aids that are really helpful especially to challenged children whose parents are not able to afford the expensive options,” Samson said oblivious of how his own walking aids looked better and more comfortable compared to the expensive ones.
“I also make seats such as this,” Samson said while pointing to a magnificent seat he had been seating on, “you can stand and jump on it, it is strong and cannot break unless cut with a sharp panga strongly”, he said full of confidence.
I sat on the seat as if to take up his challenge and yes, Samson had mastered his craft well, it was firm and soft on me.
“I also make beds and have already sold four at 3,500 shillings, shoe racks, and bookshelves,” Samson said as he pointed to what he had in the display.
“I am 30 years and with two very young children, I thought to myself, what is my legacy, how far can my brain go when challenged,” Samson says adding that the environment has so many opportunities to offer that the people in.
“Don’t look for opportunities too far, they around you, fill the gaps and seek to maximize on your brains potential,” Samson says.
“Do not be selfish with the knowledge you acquire, sharing it positively opens room for criticism which enables you to better what you have in mind,” Samson concludes igniting an innovative fire in me.
How far can your brain go? What is the potential of your brain? How far do you challenge yourself? Are you seeking to achieve your full potential in mind of the legacy you wish to leave behind?
An 8-5 job should never be an excuse as to why your brain cannot go past and refocus on creativity, have a nice time re-evaluating yourself and seek to achieve your full potential, like a plant, grow and blossom, wherever you are and in whatever you do, do not stale.