Why I Made An Electric Wheelchair – Chisom Okechukwu

In this exclusive interview with The News Chronicle, Chisom Okechukwu, an Enugu-born tech genius who has created a number of ingenious products, speaks about his talent, dreams, passion to help others through his skills and challenges……..


TNC: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? How did you delve into producing  electrically engineered products?

Chisom: My name is Chisom Okechukwu, I am from Ezeagu local government in Enugu state, Nigeria. I have this natural talent to create things like the electric wheelchair which i just completed recently. I will also say that it is a family trait, it runs in the blood, from my grandfather, my father, myself and others in the family, we are all skilled vocationally.

TNC: What inspired you to work on a motorized wheelchair project? Do you create things on demand or more like out of sheer inspiration?

Chisom: When I see people in whatsoever difficulty, I think of how to lighten their burdens at least, even if I cannot remove the burdens completely, this was part of the inspiration and motivating force behind creating the motorized wheelchair. I often see disabled people around Obete market here in Enugu who struggle to move themselves around in their manual wheelchairs, I felt they already have an issue of not being able to walk on their feet, struggling to move around in their wheelchairs was an extra burden I could take from them and that is how I began to work towards creating a motorized wheelchair.

I am aware that motorized wheelchairs are not new, they have been in the market for quite a while, but the issue is that they are produced in foreign countries, and in a situation where they become faulty, repairing them is not easy as sometimes the faulty parts are not available in the local market. But the wheelchairs I make are easy to use and fix in case of any defect, not forgetting that they are also affordable when compared to the foreign ones.

TNC: Is this the only product you have produced and what inspires or motivates you in choosing the products you make?

Chisom: I have other products asides the motorized wheelchair. Just like I said, I don’t like seeing people suffering, so I always seek for ways to help out in any way I can. I also created a product that helps tailors who face the challenge of pedaling on their sowing machines for long hours. Most of these tailors cannot afford electric sowing machines. What this product does is that it does the work of pedaling the machine, with the use of very affordable batteries that last for a long time and can be used without electricity. This will reduce to a great extent the stress tailors go through in their day-to-day work and remove the chances of them having rheumatism.

TNC: What are the challenges you face in the use of your skills and in achieving your goals.

Chisom: There are quite a number of challenges, but a major part is finance to bring my many ideas into reality. Like in the case of epileptic power supply, if I had the means, I can use an alternate source of power to do my work. I also need money to buy equipment for work.

TNC: What do you hope to achieve with your talent and works?

TNC: I strongly desire to impact society through my talent. Aeronautic engineering has been my dream course, but after secondary school I have not proceeded further in my studies, partly also as I do not come from a rich background. There have been suggestions among family members for me to go to may be a polytechnic, but I don’t just want to go to school for the sake of getting a certificate, I want to give something tangible to society. I will be happy to receive a scholarship to continue my studies or maybe go into partnership with a company in my field.

TNC: Have you received support or collaboration from the local community, organizations or government?

Chisom: I have had encouragement and some material support from people in my locality. Some of them come by and urge me to carry on with the good work I do. But I have not received anything from government

TNC: What advice would you give to other young individuals interested in pursuing similar projects?

Chisom: My advice to others is to have the determination to succeed and maintain consistency. I have many talented friends who we started this journey together but they dropped off along the way. Even though there was no immediate support from family, it did not stop me from pursuing my dreams, I did a number of jobs to keep myself going, like mechanic and welding.

I advise the youths especially, to not allow anything discourage them, but to believe in themselves.


NB: Chisom Can Be Contacted on this line


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