#ZimStartup: One on One with Local Ironclad Inventor


Losing both parents at a tender age has not eroded Phillip Imbayarwo’s dream to become an inventor. Aged 21, the budding inventor is proving that he stops at nothing to invent various gadgets. Due to funding challenges his products remain stuck in prototype stage.

Playing with chemicals and fixing things started to Philip at a young age. A poor background should not deter one to become what he or she is destined to be. There are many success stories that stem up from such backgrounds.

With nose to grindstone, and limited resources, Philip’s unflinching attitude towards working is amazing. Of course a person without a history is a person without a future. He is a true testimony that backgrounds do not determine what you become in the end.

Phone Stand prototype

Philip was also inspired by Kevin Doe from Sierra Leone who despite a poor background made a radio transmitter, a feat that stunned the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT).

TechnoMag ZimStartup’s writer Kudakwashe Pembere (KP) caught up with Philip Imbayarwo (PI) him and below is an excerpt of the interview.

KP: Who is Philip Imbayarwo

PI:My name is Philip Imbayarwo. I’m 21 years old. For the meantime, Im not going to school. Im staying at home. I wrote my A levels last year. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds I wasn’t able to collect my results. I’m a young inventor and I’m 21.

KP: Tell me about your projects.

PI: I have a lot of projects that Im working on. But due to funds. It’s not that all successful. In other words, I have some outstanding things that I’m working on. I have the phone stand which Im working on with different features like the auxiliary speaker. It can also load music or movies. It can charge a phone and you can use it as a phone stand.

There is also this project that I worked on. Its called the multi-purpose cleaner advancement where we have four features from that machine. We have the vacuum cleaning feature that is located at the front and back of the machine. Then under that machine we have three discs. That means we have the disc for wax application, there is a disc for polishing, and there is a disc for steaming the floor. You know with this multipurpose cleaner, I felt it tiring for people to use their hands while cleaning the floor hence the need to have such a gadget. I wish I had brought it with me.  There are many projects I am working on but due to lack of resources Im unable to complete them.

KP: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

PI: Firstly, I must say it is a gift I got from God because ever since I was in Form 4 I had a project I was working on where I used fizzy acids like lemon, salt and soda then I mixed all these together and vinegar to bring out an acid which you can put in a 500ml plastic container. If you squeeze it, then you pour that acid inside and close. If you shake it, it will go back to its original shape. That’s how simple it is. I did that when I was in Science Club, Form 4. Then at Allan Wilson where I did my A levels there wasn’t much inspiration but it was just the things that I thought of myself. Then later on, I got inspired by many inventors around the world like Kevin Doe, the poor boy from Sierra Leone. You know the guy made a radio transmitter for himself. He was living in a rural village but managed to make a transmitter. He collected various items from rubbish dumps to come with a radio transmitter which he used to broadcast news and so. So the guy also inspired me the most. No matter what you are you can change the world. One man can change the world. Did my secondary school at Manyame Airbase.

KP: What challenges are you facing as a young inventor?

PI: The biggest challenge that Im facing at the moment is of lack of resources just to make out the best of what I am.  I can collect all the resources that you are seeing from the garbage dumpsite. These are wires that are coated with plastics. I can bring something that is good. But the biggest challenge is that  of financial resources.

KP: Can you please take me through the process of making the phone stand.

PI: The phone stand took me two days. The first day I was thinking on what I was going to use to make it. At the first place, I didn’t think I would need an auxiliary speaker and the memory. What I wanted to do was something that could hold my phone whilst it is charging and watching a movie. Then later on I realized that I must put an auxiliary speaker because there are times when you want to hear something out loud.

So it took me two days to build up this thing working six to six. I used rusty wires but I just coated them with a plastic. I used materials from an old DVD, an old power bank which I fixed,  and a flash drive.  On the second day I was working on making the phonestand from six to six.

KP: Tell me about your family?

PI: Unfortunately I don’t have a mother nor father. I stay with my uncle and aunt who took me in since I was 7 years old. Im still staying with them. The are good people. They are good to me. They gave me all the basic things required for a person to grow like education, shelter, clothing and all. I lost my mother in 2006 and my dad died when I was 2 months old. In my own family there are two. SO Im the first born. You know things are not well because my uncle is unemployed. My aunt is a prison worker. She works at Harare Central.

KP: What advice would you give to other youthful inventors like you who might have a similar background as yours?

PI: My advice to other youth is that its never too late to become what you want. If you are an inventor you must get started. You must avoid just talking but start making something.  I know that the world has a lot of resources in the world you can use what you find.


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