Osoegbulam’s knack to fly his craft nears fruition
Lemonade is a sweet drink made from lemon, a member of the citrus family noted for its sourness. This perhaps informed the proverb, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This legendary proverbial phrase is used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune.
This perhaps explains the type of life that 22-year-old Friday Osoegbulam, is trying to create for himself after life’s vicissitude assailed him at a very early age.
Like many of his peers, who showed promise in western education, Osoegbulam at nine was already in Junior Secondary 2 (JS2). Sadly, the end of his academic sojourn came too early, as he had to drop out of school to learn a trade, due to critical financial situation at home. His ouster, however, paved the way for his younger siblings to continue.
“As the eldest of six children, I dropped out of school to pave way for my younger ones to be able to go to school,” he recalled heavy-heartedly.
Born on May 5, 1995, in Ogba Village in Mgbidi, Agwu Local Council of Enugu State, and exposed to the negative impact of financial incapacitation and its very unsavoury effects in the family, Osoegbulam has refused to be broken despite the odds he has grappled with to date.
When a man is determined to challenge his Chi, as the Igbo would say, providence works in combination with his resolve. So, it happened that as Osoegbulam was engrossed in his determination to change the fortunes of his family, providence sent him a helper in the person of a Port Harcourt-based automobile electrician, Mr. Albert Okata.
Osoegbulam got apprenticed to Okata for a period of five years, that is, from 2010 to 2015. Within this period, he completed his training as an automobile electrician.
In search of a greener field, the 22-year-old switched wings, and moved to Lagos, the much-touted Centre of Excellence, where he hoped his desires and expectations would be met.
On arrival in Lagos, he pitched tent with another automobile electrician as a journeyman, at the premises of a tipper garage, owned by Okoko Tipper Owners’ Association.
Instead of just doing what he trained in, Osoegbulam has also turned himself into a self-taught inventor, with an ambitious helicopter project, which he is turning heads with. As he does his thing, he is so hopeful that someday soon, his dream of being a man of his own would come to pass, just as he wants to also mount the cockpit of his helicopter and soar into the skies someday.
Whilst working on his big, metal bird, built with everyday materials including iron pipes, metal sheets, and the engine of a small power-generating set, he has not relegated his primary calling to the background.
Barely equipped with formal education, the young auto electrician is so convinced that if the first makers of helicopter could take such a giant step, he could as well do same. Not even his gross lack of knowledge of propulsion or aerodynamics is enough to deter or discourage him from the mission he has set out to accomplish.
On materials used for the ambitious craft, he said the engine is from a Tiger brand electricity generating set, while the body is made of iron pipes and other such materials.
To show an interested party how far he has gone with his prototype, Osoegbulam is quick to test-run the engine of his craft, and also perform a few functions while the vehicle remains stationary. Within minutes, the budding technician is also ready to take an interested party round it as he explains efforts put in so far.
As he continues to explain how far he has gone, a crowd begins to encircle him and his product at the tipper garage. As this happens, he adds that the next stage of work is to install the blades, thereafter pointing to pieces of metals on the ground, which he said would serve as the blades. As the engine raves, the crowd is frenzied while cheering him “genius.”
Before long, the auto electrician, as if to reconfirm his mission to Lagos reiterates that in the seemingly hopeless circumstance he has found himself, all he needs is to explore himself, invest his talent wisely, and hope that the government will someday ask him to build a helicopter for the country.
He also hopes that someday, the Federal Government would be sufficiently moved to look around and pick up talented youths, polish them and get them contribute their quota to the country’s technological development.
According to the Vice Chairman of Okoko Tipper Owners’ Association (in whose premises Osoegbulam is a journeyman), Rev. Christian Chima, “I was surprised the first time I saw this boy working on the helicopter. Then when he got to a stage he switched it on for all to see. It’s indeed a thing of excitement to see such a show of talent in my presence.”
“For us here, what we have seen is an incredible feat, from the design stage, to that of powering the craft. That is why I am really proud of this boy. I know that he will go places if he gets government’s attention. I want to use this medium to plead with the government to look for people like this and help them realise their dreams, which will be in the overall interest of the nation.”
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