Young inventor from Imbali dreams big

2015-10-06 11:15
Provincial winner Lindokuhle Mnikati from Zamazulu Secondary School in Imbali demonstrates the workings of his rotating electric washing line which he will showcase at the National Science Expo in Boksburg this week.

Provincial winner Lindokuhle Mnikati from Zamazulu Secondary School in Imbali demonstrates the workings of his rotating electric washing line which he will showcase at the National Science Expo in Boksburg this week. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - When Lindokuhle Mnikati invented his electric washing line, he did not realise he would be showcasing it at the national Eskom Science Expo.

The 18-year-old from Zamazulu Secondary School in Imbali leaves tonight to take part in the three-day event in Boksburg, Gauteng.

The Grade 11 pupil won gold in the engineering category during the provincial expo in Durban.

Not owning a proper wash line at home, Mnikati noticed how ­inconvenient it became for his neighbour when it started to rain.

“Sometimes their washing would still be wet and, if it rained for the whole week, it would remain wet,” said Mnikati. “I then saw the need for an advanced washing line which you can just plug in so it would dry your clothes without having to rely on wind,” he said.

Mnikati said it only took him three days to build the wash line.

“I kept on failing but persevered until I got it right. With the power crisis some people may ask why I opted to use electricity. Well, mine uses a DC motor which does not consume that much electricity,” he said. “I am still looking at using ­another source of energy. Pedalling could work,” said Mnikati, who also invented a generator which does not use fuel, but generates energy through pedalling.

With bursaries and a chance to showcase at an international level, Mnikati said he is hoping the project will open many doors for him.

“At the moment I do not how I’m going to further my studies after matriculating,” said Mnikati.

He would like to study electrical engineering after matriculating, but said his mother, who works part-time as a domestic worker, cannot afford to pay for his tertiary fees.

“My father died when I was only 10 years old. At the moment we stay with my grandmother and my ­cousins,” said Mnikati.

He said he had already done market research about his product. “I can do wonders in China and Brazil. They are big populations and most people there are workers which means they do not have much time to wait for their washing to dry.”

Principal Xolani Ndlela said “the school was proud of Mnikati’s achievements”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  youth

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