Young African Inventor Strives to Enrich Community

Meet Thuso Mohapi: A brilliant young inventor who lives in the rural and remote highlands of Lesotho. Despite the region’s isolation and lack of infrastructure, Thuso has relied on self education to push through these barriers and unleash his innate ability to create advanced inventions, such as electronic devices, with little resources at his disposal. He scavenges through waste and recycled material to find anything he can use to build his inventions.

As an only child, Thuso’s motivation to innovate stems from his desire to help improve his family’s health, safety and wellbeing. His hope is that he can one day do this for his wider community. With access to formal education and a support system, we would be giving Thuso the opportunity to reach his highest potential.

Here is a story Thuso shared with me that is just one example of his relentless drive for innovation: at the age of 11, he created a battery powered sieve for his family and the community. Since flour is often stored for extended periods of time, it hosts insects and unless the flour is sieved periodically, it goes to waste. He realized he could do things differently and provide resources to his community that would not normally be available. Once he recognized this opportunity, he knew it was just the beginning. Since then, he’s created a myriad of inventions, some of which include a security system and a multi-use mobile device.

Thuso’s Family History and Background:
Thuso’s mother died when he was in primary school, so was forced to relocate to a village close to the capital, Maseru to live with a relative. There, he spent some of his time as a herdsboy, like many of his friends or “agemates.” Due to financial hardships and lack of support, he has not been able to continue with his studies. This remains a high priority for Thuso. Given his natural ability to invent and execute, we know how powerful financial aid could be to help attain formal education and unleash the next level of his creations.

Service Opportunity:
We hope to provide Thuso with the tools, mentorship and a platform so he can carry out his ideas and continue to strengthen his skillset.This will include supporting him in his journey to:

- Take part in local programs that will provide him the opportunity to study mechatronics
- Provide him with an English tutor
- Supply him with the equipment he needs to expand his work

Ultimately, his hopes, aspirations, and inventions will help develop solutions towards a better life for both his local and global community.

I recognize there are many bright stars like Thuso; however, I feel compelled to share his story given the time I have personally been able to share with him and the profound impact he has had on me. I know that with the help of our community we can vastly improve his livelihood and of those around him.


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Sana Moussavi 
Los Angeles, CA
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