“It’s so sad and so serious that a common toothpick in my country has to be imported from other countries,” said Winifred Selby.
Africa is a great continent blessed with vast natural resources, unfortunately in the abundance of water; Africans are still thirsty, due to lack of ability to make good use of their resources technically, economically, industrially and technologically. It isn’t surprised that at an African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, 2014, a young Ghanaian girl, just 15 years of age, reveals the reason she was inspired to manufacture bicycle with bamboo.
Bamboo bicycle made in Ghana, the work of Miss Winifred Selby. Photo credit: Media Ghana.
The question is what motivated Miss Selby as young as she is to have such an ambitious dream? At school, I discovered a number of things about Ghana and Africa in general, which deeply made her sad, she explained. Today her dream to manufacture bicycles with bamboo has captured the attention of organizations globally, giving her award as a ‘Company making bicycle out of Bamboo.’
“I always say Africans are the rich, we have many things which can add value to make a change. But Africans always seem to think they cannot do something extraordinary, but rather only people from foreign countries can,” said Miss Selby.
“It’s so sad and so serious that a common toothpick in my country has to be imported from other countries. We don’t do it ourselves because we look down on ourselves. We think foreigners are the people to make changes. It’s something that pains me because we have been blessed with so many things,” she stressed.
Miss Selby working on a new bicycle with Bamboo. Photo credit: Media Ghana.
Transport fares are not easy affordable and school children and student, especially in rural areas, have to walk miles to go to school. By the time they reach the classroom, they are already tired. “What can a tired mind study? Asked Miss Selby?
Again, Miss Selby lamented on the rate of high unemployment levels and the reality that Ghana needs many more growing businesses and entrepreneurs to provide much needed jobs. These problems became such worrying issues to her that she was motivated to create something extraordinary in the Ghanaian community and Africa generally.
Saying earlier that Africa has a lot of mineral resources, the abundance of Bamboo trees in Ghana, facilitated and enhanced her desire to embark on her journey to produce bicycle out of Bamboo. In collaboration with other students, Bernice Dapaah and Kwame Kyei, the dream of Bamboo manufacturing bicycle has become a reality.