Young Motswana believes with enough financing can build a custom motorbike.
Mogorosi Abdullah Batlhophi shows a lot of promise to become the next Ernest Michaux ( a young designer of the Early steam-powered motorcycle-velocipede,1867)
A 21year old innovator, whose name is about to create a buzz likely in both the Industrial design and automotive industry locally, believes he has more to offer as one of the few people to develop a local- custom-designed racing 3-wheel motorbike in Botswana. The young lad describes himself as “a definition of passion woven with talent” and hopes to explore it the extra mile to understand the field which he strongly believes he was born for as a child of the 21st century.
“It all started back in the day when I was a young boy. I would take bits and pieces of scrap metal and put them together to make something nice, creative, and innovative. Years later, I went to Nanogang CJSS to do my Junior Certificate of Education level. At Nanogang, I undertook Design and Technology as an optional subject for my studies. We were taught by a teacher called Mr. Daniel. What he (Daniel) taught us was survival skills using our hands, nurtured our love for design, and to think outside the box.
It was also during that era, in 2013, where I lost my mother due to a short illness. The traumatic experience motivated me to learn more. I eventually built a planter out of mild steel round tubes and a bicycle wheel.
In 2017, whilst doing form5, at Ledumang senior secondary school, I designed a football with wood, for which I got position 2 in the wooden category during the school exhibitions. For my final year school project, I designed a biltong dryer.
However, I did not do well in my BGCSE academics. The following year, in 2018, I designed a Tri-cycle motorbike (3-wheeled bike) with the help of my teacher Mr. Ditiro Orekeng. Later, I was then introduced to a certain man, Allan Dumba by my Godmother. The man mentored me on the welding basics at his workshop. Initially, I had not planned to work for money but rather for experience, however, Dumba remunerated me at P700 monthly, of which I decided to save up P100 every month. By December, I had saved enough to start buying steel, body kits, and other parts. I also met a motorbikes mechanic, named Rock, who taught me how the bike mechanisms operate. I have since continued work on my 3-wheel motorbike during my spare time up to this day.
I am currently left with buying an engine, mounting it, then I could work on the braking system and installation of other electrical components. Finally, I will be able to pre-test the proto-type.
The idea of the motorcycle was initially to inspire young Batswana like me that we can unleash our creativity.I attended one of our annual Youth Alive church Camps, where I met young entrepreneurs, who are also our Youth Alive movement leaders, Kitso Fredrique Hule of Rona Energy, and Luciano Editor Madidimale who came to give us a talk on entrepreneurship. I told Kitso about my project and he started brainstorming a few ideas with me about how I could turn this into a business and go the industrial design route (-Industrial design is a process of design to apply products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production), he also introduced me to a few of his contacts.
The young Batlhophi laments that there are many people with ideas that can change and increase wealth in Botswana but, young people like him lack motivation and adequate finances to realize their dream. Therefore he is appealing for any form of assistance he could get from anywhere, to make his dream a reality. His other lifetime dream to one day build a Sand Master race car… he has a dream to one day see his creations used in the annual 1000KM Kalahari Desert Races (Mantshwabisi).
Mogomotsi Batlhophi is currently doing his first year, Certificate in Machine Fitting at Selibe Phikwe Technical College.