Born in the Western part of Kenya, Evans, the youngest of 5 boys, attended Bisunu Primary School, a rural primary school that was a 10 km walk away. After completing his studies there, he attended Kakamega High School, where he graduated with top marks and was consequently listed as one of the top 100 best students in Kenya. When he enrolled at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya he studied electronic and computer engineering and graduated in 2009 with a BSc in Electronics and Computer Engineering.
As a young man growing up in rural Kenya, Evans saw the limitations that came with a lack of electricity in the village and at home. Crowding around single kerosene lamps with his four older brothers was the norm. Under the dim smoky light emanating from the kerosene lamps they tried to study and do homework for school, unaware of the harmful effects the fumes from the lamps posed to the environment and the people who use them.
With both his parents being teachers the importance of education was always stressed to the boys and as a result Evans spent much time around the kerosene lamps that he shared with his siblings. For Evans, the lack of sufficient light to study became frustrating as it led to unfinished homework and poor exam performance. “Many students fail to complete th eir education and remain poor partly because they don’t have good light,” says Wadongo. Over and above this, the consequences of the kerosene lamps were more permanent as his eyesight, and that of many others, became damaged from the poisonous gases.
Light Bulb Moment
Wadongo’s experience and frustrations didn’t end in him lamenting the problem. In 2004, at the tender age of 19 years old, he found a solution to this and the MwangaBora (“Good Light” in Swahili) solar lamp was developed. The MwangaBora solar lamp is…