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“I always want to Maintain the Quality of my Products” Mr. Michael Goitom

By :- Mussie Efriem

Our guest today, Mr. Michael Goitom, makes efficient gadgets that help solve everyday problems. He also trains and mentors children.

  • Please introduce yourself.

My name is Michael Goitom Ogbazghi, and I am from Keren, Anseba region. I’ve been participating at Festival Eritrea’s Invention and Manufacturing section since 1998. I first presented 12 different types of gadgets that I designed myself.

  • How did you get to this point in your career?

My father was a blacksmith, and he had a small shop where I got all of my ideas and basic manufacturing skills. My father’s business was my source of inspiration, but it was too archaic to keep up with the times. I now have my own metal workshop in Keren, and I am always attempting to make new items. At the workshop, we both manufacture and repair gadgets, and we always look for ideas to create new gadgets that make people’s lives easy. Most of the items we make are used in agriculture, construction, and food production, and they are made in such a way as to prevent wastage of labor and to improve the quality and quantity of our products. For example, the groundnut peeler I designed has a capacity to peel more than 150 quintals a day. Other gadgets I made that are efficient include a grain grinder and a juice blender.

The annually held Festival Eritrea has helped me in many ways to refine my skills. It serves as a forum where I learn a lot from other inventors and manufacturers as well as the public who come to the exhibition. Even the little kids who participate at the ‘”innovation contest” teach you a lot. I showcased my products from 1998 to 2000, and at this year’s festival I put on display a new equipment.

  • We’ve heard you also train children. Can you tell us more about that?

Yes, I’ve been doing it since 1995, when I was a student. I used to show my modest talent to curious kids. Then, as time passed, I became more serious about it and began to teach the children who came to me. I was paying special attention to those who were interested and had promising talent. We tend to force students to learn the academy without paying any attention to their interest. We fail to understand that those who are not into academics may be very talented in some other fields.

Frustrated with their children’s academic performance, many parents would come to me and beg me to teach their children some skills. And most of the time, those kinds of kids turn out to be the greatest and most creative. Of course, this doesn’t mean the academy isn’t important to such kids.

In fact, they tend to show improvement in their academic performance after participating in my training. When we become more and more active, we don’t have much time to waste and, therefore, tend to use our minds more efficiently. I encourage the kids I train to pay attention to their school work and be serious about their education to broaden their horizons even if they end up having a career based on the training I have given them.

  • How do people react to the gadgets you’ve made, and what do you do to improve the quality of your products?

The public’s reaction is encouraging. When I want to develop a product, I design it carefully from the outset because any little mistake can cause it to malfunction and the entire project fails. For optimal results, patience and investment are required. I’m not doing it because it’s more lucrative than any other job but because I love it so much.

  • Have you encountered obstacles in your work?

Yes, many. For examples, years ago, I was building a gadget at my workshop, which took about four months to complete. The gadget I made turned out to be too large to move through the workshop’s door. I didn’t pay attention to the size of the gadget I was making until I completed the work. Only then I understood how stupid that was. I spent my time in vain. Then I cut it into smaller shapes so that it could be reconnected. The mistake I made eventually helped me to create a machine that is more portable and simple to use.

  • Future plans?

I’m now working on proposals to make an animal feed processing machine that uses renewable energy. We need to stop our reliance on ovens that use firewood and stoves that use charcoal. Unless we use our resources wisely, our land will turn into desert.

Several trees, such as temri mussa, have been designated invasive and dangerous because they grow quickly out of control and spread. I would like to turn this into an advantage and am exploring ways to make the trees a source of energy by cutting them at the bottom of their trunks rather than uprooting them altogether. I also have a plan to use the trees to produce animal feed.

  • Final thoughts

Whenever I attend events and exhibitions at Festival Eritrea, I am fascinated by the little children who come up with brilliant ideas. With the little I know, I do my best to assist them, and I wish everyone would do the same because they are the country’s future and we expect a lot from them.

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