Richard Turere, 13, had reason to despise lions while growing up with his family on a ranch in Kenya: The beasts routinely killed their livestock, which he was largely responsible for. Rather than fret, however, the clever boy put his mind to work and devised an invention that not only deters lions, but does so without killing or injuring them.
(Lions, whose numbers have shrunk to an alarming level, are vital to the ecosystem and valuable as a tourist attraction in nearby Nairobi National Park. The park boasts the world’s largest concentration of lions, which often perceive livestock on nearby ranches as easy pickings.)
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Richard reminds me alot of myself when I was his age. I have always been a very creative person all my life. I remember saving my mom a $300 dollar repair bill by fixing a television myself. The sound had gone out unexpectedly during the middle of a program and nothing my parents could do would fix it (including banging on it). So while they were talking to an appliance repair shop, I was looking over the TV and noticed screw holes.
On a whim, I found my dad’s phillips screwdriver and proceeded to unscrew the nuts. The allowed me to open the TV chassis. I found where the speaker was and noticed that the wire leading to the CPU-like board was very loose. So I reconnected it by pressing on it with the screwdriver. Getting a nasty shock at the same time — I forgot to unplug the TV even though it was off.
Don’t worry, it wasn’t serious. Just a little jolt. I should have probably known better but I was only 8 years old.
Naturally, my parents weren’t happy I done it without adult supervision but they were impressed and proud that I had figured out how to fix it all by myself.
So Richard’s story really resonated with me. I am always proud to hear of a innovative Black young man having the opportunity to realize his dreams. As a result of his invention, he received a scholarship to a nearby University where he is studying to become an airplane engineer.
His dream was to fly in an airplane (done when sent to California to show his invention) and to become an airline pilot.
I’m very sure he will accomplish that dream as well.
Good job, little brother!