Siphamandla Ntshewula from Khayelitsha has invented desk lamps to help learners to study at night. He completed his Matric in 2017, throughout the year he would usually study at night which would disturb the family from their sleep.“I would get complaints from my aunt to switch off the light because it was too bright.” I live in a fairly spacious house. What about those students who live in one-roomed shacks?” said Ntshewula. His dilemma sparked the idea of creating his own lamp which would be not too bright.
The desk lamp is made up of a small light bulb and a 20-litre plastic bottle and can make one lamp in less than an hour. Altogether, the electric wire, plug, switch and bulb for one lamp cost R100. The children from his neighbourhood help him to collect the plastic bottles and his aunt brings him offcuts of fabric from the factory where she works.
“I am also looking into making my lamps battery-friendly because as you know, we have problems with load-shedding. And sometimes people cannot afford to buy electricity,” said Ntshewula. He stressed that customers should not buy bulbs which were too powerful because these could burn the plastic bottle. “The weaker bulbs were quite safe”, he said. The young man has applied for a youth-in-business programme where he will be taught how to start a business, how to register a company, tax and other matters.