Toy Tractor from Recycled Plastic

Taken in the Rift Valley province of Kenya, this picture shows two young boys with their toy tractor. Notice the use of discarded plastic and a few nails. Simply ingenious, simply Afrigadget!


This picture was submitted by Bankelele, one of Kenya’s top bloggers. Thank you very much Bankelele.

If you would like to submit images, please tag them with ‘afrigadget’ in flickr.

Village Toys (Uganda)

Happy New Years everyone!

(The following series of images were sent in by Teddy (aka TMS Ruge) a professional photographer and an all around amazing individual who runs Project Diaspora.)

Ugandan village toys by TMS Ruge

The SUV was made from an old Cooking Oil container, I can’t remember the brand. The “top” is cut-out and they put other little belongs in there pulled it for hours. The wheels are made from old slippers, or sandles. Spokes from an old bicycle served as the axles. Banana stalk was used to pull the “vehicle”.

Ugandan village toy by TMS Ruge

Ugandan village SUV toy and children by TMS Ruge

“That’s my niece, Chris and her friend, Geofrey are in the picture. They spent hours in their own world pulling it across the yard.”

More pictures at the AfriGadget Flickr Image Pool and the AfriGadget Facebook Group. (join it, add yours).

Philip’s Model Plane at International ArtBots Show (Video)

“I feel good when I do these things.”

One of my favorite stories on AfriGadget has been of Philip Isohe and his hobby of making very detailed (and working) model airplanes and buses made from scratch. Earlier this year, the ArtBots Show contacted me to get Philip to create one for them that they could show at their annual show in Dublin, Ireland that is happening this weekend. The airplane will be given away as a prize at the show.

They also asked me to create a video of Philip to use at the show:

Philip with the final airplane, painted and working:

The original story of Philip, done last summer.
More images on Zoopy and our Flickr group.

African Toys – A Pictorial

We hope you enjoy these pictures of toys from Kenya and Ghana. They are a sampling of the pictures on the AfriGadget flickr group. The materials used to make these toys are scrap metal, tins, wire, and pieces of leather.

Wire Bikes

Colorful bikes

Toy Bikes

Spray can wheels


Red Dynamo

Tall Bike

Wire Motor Bike from Kenya

Wire Bike

Cars and Tractor

Tin Cars from Ghana

Toy Cars

From Kenya:
Wire Landrover

Wire SUV

Wire Tractor

Wire Tractor

Simpsons Carvings from Kenya

This one is not exactly AfriGadget, more like an AfriToy, but we love the story nonetheless. The video reporter Ruud Elmendorp visited the small village of Tabaaka, near Kakamega, in western province Kenya. Below is a video showing the master carvers at work, creating soapstone figures of The Simpsons characters. The carvings are available for online purchase through the CraftVillage website. Please click on the image below to view the video.


Al-Jazeera also covered the story last year, focusing on the economic boost of the Simpsons movie on the village, as it saw an increase in the number of orders for the carvings. It is the confluence of popular culture and African handicraft that we particularly enjoyed when it came to this story. If we had our way we would have soapstone carvings of Strongbad! One day.

PS: AfriGadget will have a monthly feature on The World Technology Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. The first issue is now posted. Many thanks to Clark Boyd, the AfriGadget team is quite excited about this.