9-year-old Kenyan Boy Featured in the Forbes Magazine

  • Wamukota
    Stephen Wamukota, the Kenyan 9-year-old boy who invented an award winning hand-washing machine to curb Covid-19 in 2020.
  • Stephen Wamukota, a nine-year-old Kenyan boy, has been featured in the latest Forbes Africa Magazine for his innovation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The young boy who hails from Bungoma County used his ingenuity and the little resources he had to create a semi-automatic hand-washing machine for his community.

    "Stephen Wamukota is greatly respected in his village in western Kenya. His foot-operated washing machine has helped curb the spread of Covid-19 in his community as it reduces the need for people to use the communal tap when washing clothes.

    "Seeking funding to continue his production line, he hopes to expand to other communities, a goal he hopes to achieve before his 10th birthday,'' noted the international magazine. 

    Stephen Wamukota, the nine-year-old from Bungoma County who created a semi-automatic hand-washing machine to Curb Covid-19.

    Wamukota was among the 68 Kenyans that were presented with the Presidential Order of Service by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Madaraka day celebrations in 2020.

    Speaking on BBC on Tuesday, June 2020, the 9-year-old said that he made the machine with the help of his father. 

    His father, James Wamukota, said that the concept of the machine was his son's as he only helped with tightening it.

    "I had bought some pieces of wood to make a window frame, but when I came back home after work one day, I found that Stephen had made the machine," he told the BBC.

    He further said that he first shared the son's invention on Facebook and was surprised how quickly it was shared.

    Wamukota’s hand-washing machine is a straightforward but smart design. It works by using two-foot pedals at the base of the machine.

    When users step on one pedal, it releases the soap into their hands, and the other pedal releases the water. This design allows the users to wash their hands and not have to touch the same surfaces as others to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

    Wamukota has expressed interest in becoming an engineer. In response, administration of  Bungoma County offered him an engineering scholarship once he is old enough to attend university.

    Brian Ndegwa Wambui, an IT Student at Dedan Kimathi University who invented a data analytics chatbot dubbed as Rona.

    Also featured in the Forbes magazine is Brian Ndegwa Wambui who is 21-year-old Information Technology student at Dedan Kimathi University.

    Wambui invented Rona, a Covid-19 specific data analytics chatbot, that helps to clear any fact or detail that may be fabricated or confusing.

    "Fake news may be a thing of the past in Kenya, as Rona, the data analytics chatbot, can help clear any fact or detail that may be fabricated or confusing. Rona is the brainchild of Brian Wambui, a 21-year-old IT student at Dedan Kimathi University in Kenya. The questions are manually typed in, a feature Wambui believes is more user-friendly than the 719 Helpline and bots that provide a limited list of questions," noted Forbes.