Kelvin Doe the African Tony Stark
Every now and then we encounter a story that tugs at our heart-strings. Kelvin Doe, a citizen of Sierra Leone, is the tug which also comes with a wow factor. His youthful genius, acumen, and sincerity is what the world needs. Kelvin (a.k.a. DJ Focus) runs a radio station he invented and I mean he invented the power source, the transmitter, and the antenna! He did this by scouring the dustbins of Africa, gathering electronic resources and reverse engineering them. Kelvin had absolutely no training in electrical engineering and he started at 13 years old!
His inspiration is a deep-seated wish to help his family, community and country. His visceral sincerity is so beautiful in a time of flag burning and xenophobic people. You can only be amazed at the fact an African teenager takes broken electronic parts and develops intricate
functional solutions from the trash. Kelvin, is desire and curiosity bundled into pure natural intellect; and MIT feels the same way about Kelvin.
“Whatever things I’ve learned here, I will share it with my friends, colleagues and loved ones,” Doe said.
At 16, he was invited to the “Visiting Practioner’s Program” at MIT, making the distinction of the youngest person invited…in history. MIT became aware of Kelvin during Innovate Salone, a national high school innovation challenge hosted in Sierra Leone. Doctoral student David Sengeh immediately recognized Kelvin’s natural proclivity to electrical engineering and invited him to the distinguished MIT program.
We are sure to see great things from Kelvin and we can only watch with bated breath at his future innovations when he has access to greater resources. We could be witnessing life imitating art. Marvel Comics character Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man) started out as a teenage electronics prodigy just like Kelvin.