There is Nothing Satisfactory than Innovating Based on your Inside Self
I am Tesfay Asmelash. I was born in Ethiopia, and I grew up there. My father had a garage in there in Ethiopia, and my mother used to always take me there, before I started my regular school. My mother was a mechanic all by herself with no formal education on the field. She was capable of identifying problems of motor of vehicles that came for repair. I started regular school when I was 6, and then I started working at the garage half day after class, till I completed 12th grade. Because I was a little, I got no difficulties to easily develop my knowledge and understanding ability whenever I took a look to what my father, my elder brothers , and also other employers were doing.
What happened later?
Afterwards, I studied auto mechanics at a Technical School. I don’t like routine mechanics even when I was studying auto mechanics. I used to make great endeavors towards finding solutions of some spare parts at times my father couldn’t get them. And I started to come up with new things when I got some spares which needed to be fixed or changed.
What was the reason for you to be innovative, avoiding routine maintenance?
Basically, it is a will; willingness to create something new. When you repeat the same thing so many times, it ends up being boring, and it tackles your imaginative and creative capacity. Naturally, I like discovering new things. Above all, I had freedom to do whatever I want, and my father didn’t want to stop me from the way I was travelling that he learned my inclination and my talent. I never think of increasing my income, I was just thinking of what progress would I make, from creating something new, and I couldn’t simply tell you the pleasure and satisfaction that was created inside me.
At the middle of this, the TPLF regime expelled us from Ethiopia, like all Eritreans who were living there, taking all our possession, and confiscating our companies.
Right before the 3rd offensive, me and my brother went to Sawa with the 9th round to fulfill our National Service. My brother was martyred at the Third Offensive, and I was assigned in the Fred Hollows, according to my profession, and I worked there as a maintenance manager for five years.
What experience did you get from Fred Hollows?
I got a brand new technology there, in Fred Hollows , technology of the first world which is not even in other African countries. You just work with the topmost technology, and I started inventing something unfamiliar.
What about later?
In 2008, I shifted to railway station, and worked there as an assistant in a technical maintenance classification. I got so many differences from Fred Hollows. The railway is not yet developed and follows old styles. Generally, the history of locomotive in our country has more than 150 years. However, it is helpful, for your need to change the old styles or the old technology. You need to replace the old machineries to brand new devices, coming up with new creativity. And I got an opportunity to work with it, with the eagerness to innovate and with the talent I had. Taking this chance, I saw the spare parts of the locomotives and I ended up making thorough study. The locomotives are old aged; they served so many years. There were even some which were replicated which served with half of their spares were of automobiles, in the Asmara –Ghindae road. And I started to make a research about, for old tools could only be archived, stopping from giving service.
What was the research all about?
A locomotive should simply go to both directions, but if you brought a car and put it in the railway, it could only travel to one direction. And I tried to make a deep study over why wouldn’t a car or other automobiles would go to both directions. I finally make a blue print after I concluded that automobiles could go to both directions. You need extra study to how you would be able to convince and share your ideas to the pertinent bodies; it is the hardest thing. It’s hard to make what you feel and belief in practical.
So, what was the response after you share your ideas to the pertinent bodies?
It was accepted, and the work started in 2011. And I participated there, because looking things theoretically couldn’t be enough, some differences could be occurred when it comes to practice.
How did it go then?
Though I first come up with the idea, it’s obvious that there is a need for social work and assistance to finally make it practical. And the job was successfully completed with great harmony and organization.
Where did you get the materials to make the Train?
When I firstly think about the project, I believed that it would be worked with internal resources.
What about when we see it financially?
Leaving aside our physical contribution, the work was done with inner capacity and knowledge.
What was the time demand to complete the project?
It was finished with short period of time. From the very beginning, because I believed that it would cost me great tolerance and sacrifice, and that I would finally win over, me and my comrades didn’t feel boring or tired.
What is your future plan?
God willing, I have an enthusiasm and eagerness to create a train that could serve the people as transportation facility. For instance, there was a railway in Massawa, and it is still there, and I don’t see the reason why three or four such trains wouldn’t be able to render service in Asmara. The outcome has already seen in Expo ground. The train could serve as four or five buses would serve at once.