Back­ground no yard­stick to your fate

Sowetan - - JOB MARKET - Per­tu­nia Mafok­wane

PRO­FES­SOR Mu­lalo Doyoyo is an en­gi­neer and in­ven­tor of note.

Grow­ing up in the dusty streets of Vondwe vil­lage out­side Tho­hoyan­dou in Venda, he dreamt of be­com­ing a lawyer or doc­tor but changed his mind when he re­alised he could cre­ate more jobs as an en­gi­neer.

His jour­ney to suc­cess is proof that one’s back­ground does not de­fine their fu­ture.

Doyoyo has lived in the US for about 20 years study­ing and lec­tur­ing at some of the world’s top univer­si­ties where he in­vented, among oth­ers, ceno­cell – a patented con­crete ma­te­rial that is man­u­fac­tured with­out the ad­di­tion of ce­ment, which is now used glob­ally.

He founded his man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in Johannesburg in 2015, where he em­ploys 10 youths who are boil­er­mak­ers.

His job in­cludes man­u­fac­tur­ing ma­chines and test­ing them on site be­fore they are dis­trib­uted to cus­tomers. At his Johannesburg plant, Doyoyo has also in­vented a builder’s paint that has since been cer­ti­fied. The paint is cur­rently be­ing man­u­fac­tured in Cape Town and dis­trib­uted na­tion­ally.

Doyoyo also de­signed and man­u­fac­tured Eco­cast brick-mak­ing ma­chines that save wa­ter, en­ergy, elec­tric­ity and use less ce­ment. The ma­chine was re­cently made avail­able on the mar­ket.

One of the in­no­va­tions he is proud of is a solar toi­let sys­tem that uses less wa­ter and uses en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly tech­nol­ogy.

“A sin­gle hold uses about 32 000 litres of wa­ter a year but with this in­no­va­tion, only 600 litres of wa­ter is used. The in­ven­tion is like a [small] waste plant. The waste is con­sumed by a bac­te­ria we put in the wa­ter. The toi­lets are pow­ered by solar pan­els for flush­ing and re­cy­cling the waste,” he said.

Anglo Amer­i­can awarded him a schol­ar­ship to read for a de­gree in me­chan­i­cal engi­neer­ing at the Univer­sity of Cape Town af­ter ma­tric­u­lat­ing at Mbilwi Se­condary School in 1988. He grabbed the op­por­tu­nity with both hands.

He was also awarded a schol­ar­ship to study for an­other de­gree in engi­neer­ing at Brown Univer­sity in Rhode Is­land, US, where he also re­ceived his doc­tor­ate.

Doyoyo con­tin­ued to en­rol for ad­vanced stud­ies in engi­neer­ing at Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (MIT), also in the US, where he also lec­tured engi­neer­ing stu­dents for about six years.

Af­ter MIT, he went on to lec­ture at Ge­or­gia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy in At­lanta be­fore re­turn­ing to SA.

“I am cap­tured by the chal­lenges in­volved in dis­cov­er­ing things that were not there be­fore. Cre­at­ing new things ex­cites me. It is not easy for peo­ple to trust new in­no­va­tions, but I have the sup­port of many com­pa­nies,” he said.

Doyoyo be­lieve in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion would take SA to greater heights.

“My dream is to see SA be­come one of the world’s big five coun­tries eco­nom­i­cally. That can only be achieved through in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion. We have a lot of nat­u­ral re­sources,” he said.


IN­NO­VA­TIVE: Mu­lalo Doy­oyo is an en­gi­neer, in­ven­tor and pro­fes­sor. He man­u­fac­tured Eco­cast brick-mak­ing ma­chines that save water and use less ce­ment while pro­duc­ing qual­ity bricks

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