AfriGadget Videos now on Zoopy!

Joining the AfriGadget community with Zoopy’s video community

Over the past two years AfriGadget videos have been hosted haphazardly by our team on YouTube and Brightcove. We’re very happy to announce that we’re partnering with one of Africa’s premier video and image hosting sites, Zoopy, for all of our videos from now on. We’re all about promoting African entrepreneurs, and this is no exception.

Jason, and the team at Zoopy, has created a customized channel for us, that can be found at They’ve been brilliant, responsive and patient all through the setup process.

AfriGadget videos can now be found on
AfriGadget videos can now be found on

Look for a few more videos going up on Zoopy than we used to put up elsewhere, some of them the outtakes that are just sitting in the archive. We’re not video pros, as most of you know by now, but it sure is great to hear these innovators tell their own story in their own words.

Here’s an example from a story on a lady and her daughter who make custom fishing flies:

Re-use in the (unofficial) Kenyan Ironworks Industry

Gikomba is a part of Nairobi that is well known for metal working. I had been meaning to come this way for a while, and today afforded me the perfect opportunity to drop down into Gikomba and see what kind of enterprising activities Kenyans were up to.

I ran into a George Odhiambo, a bulk fabricator of everything from wheelbarrows to chisels. The chisels caught my eye, primarily because one of them looked a lot like a shaft straight out of a Land Rover. It turns out that they reuse multiple types of iron for their goods, including leftover pieces from old vehicles. Nothing goes to waste here.

Even more interesting to me (probably because it moved and did stuff with fire), was the bicycle-turned-to-bellows that kept the fire going that would heat the metal rods. It’s a fairly simple, yet ingenious contraption that utilizes old materials with a little bit of engineering. The thing runs all day, every day too, so it’s made to last.

The chisel pictured below is a stone chisel, used in quarrying and squaring stones in the quarry’s dotting the country (most houses in Kenya are stone). They cost about 350/= ($6) to make, and sell for about 650/-= ($11).

AfriGadget on the BBC/PRI “The World”

AfriGadget’s second monthly BBC/PRI interview with The World is now live. Juliana, one of the editors who also blogs at Afromusing, was interviewed this month. You’ll hear her start talking at about 17:15 in the podcast.

Juliana of Afromusing - an AfriGadget editor
(I took this shot of Juliana while at DEMO, where we did a panel on tech in Africa)

It’s been a lot of fun to start sharing some of the stories and vision behind AfriGadget through the radio. Clark Boyd is a real pro, so it makes it easier for us amateur radio interviewees to figure out what we’re doing. (thanks Clark!)

The World’s tech podcasts are done weekly (Friday), you can find out more on their site and subscribe there. If you’re interested, you can also follow it through Twitter and Facebook.

AfriGadget Gets a New Look!

We’re proud to announce a brand new design for AfriGadget! The old design was rather old and ugly, so thanks for putting up with it for the last 20 months. Actually, I think the reason that there are so many more RSS subscribers to AfriGadget than daily visitors can be attributed to how it looked… 🙂

AfriGadget Redesigned!

2 New Things:

You’ll notice two buttons just beneath the header. We’re working on a number of items, two of which we’re ready to unveil.

The AfriGadget Grassroots Reporting Project
We’re intent on getting more AfriGadget contributors from all over Africa. Part of that plan is to find potential editors and set them up with a mobile phone with which to take pictures and do interviews. If you know someone that would make a good fit, let me know.

The AfriGadget Store (phase 1)
The first phase of the store is making some AfriGadget gear (t-shirts and mugs) available to everyone (hint: you can customize any design and select any type of shirt/color to put it on). The next step is to create a full-featured store with some of the items that are made by the entrepreneurs shown on AfriGadget. This would include products, as well as plans.

One of the big goals here is to create a service that doesn’t just publish interesting stories about African micro-entrepreneurs, though we do plan on continuing that, but to also explore ways that we can be a conduit back to those very same people. This redesign already has our future plans for dealing with entrepreneurs built into it. Part of that is the future phases of the AfriGadget store, but we’re also looking at ways to partner with others and encourage direct investment into worthy entrepreneurs businesses.

Look for more on that in a future update. Until then, we’re just happy we have some new stuff to show you!

If you find any errors, which I’m sure there will be some, please leave a comment or shoot me an email.

Lastly, a special thanks goes out to Jared for making this site look so good.