A 22-year-old university student has been adjudged as winner of the Young Icon category at the 2nd Kwame Nkrumah African Genius Awards after amazingly producing bricks made of paper.
Elijah was born to Ghanaian parents, but currently resides in South Africa where he studies Industrial Engineering at a university.
The young innovator rose to prominence after producing a type of brick made from paper in an attempt to help solve South Africa’s waste and housing problems.
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According to him, the realization that the country has been struggling with paper waste management, as well as affordable housing, inspired him to bring forth this innovation.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Elijah explained that the idea of producing paper-made bricks, known as ‘nubrix’, started when he was a child.
In fact, as early as 11 years, he already had plans of finding a way to make housing in South Africa cheaper, which ultimately led to the invention of his innovation.
“New bricks came back in primary school when I was 11 years old. Back then I was very passionate about Science. When I was in Grade 6 my dad used to burn his old photocopy text books and this was the time during global warming and me, being the scientist thought of something to do,” he narrated.
He added: “In about a few days later, one of the TV programmes was poaching one of the shortest of RDP housing in South Africa and RDP housing is a form of cheaper housing by the government.
“So I said let’s see if I could use a paper to help cellutape this [papers] so I did different tests, different ratios of different stuff, different methodologies of how we can turn the paper into bricks and use that whole scientific process.”
Elijah is confident that if the world should adopt the use of paper-made bricks, then global warning could as well be reduced because waste will be put to effective use, instead of being burned.
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He is, therefore, seeking official certification from a regulatory body in order to be able to put his innovation on the market for sale.
According to him, his paper-made bricks are weather resistant and have the ability to stand harsh conditions.
The wondrous nature of Elijah’s innovation led to him winning the Young Icon category at this year’s Kwame Nkrumah African Genius Awards held in Accra.
His innovation was also selected as one of the best during the first Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) held on African soil early in 2017.
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