For taking his passion for aeronautical engineering to the next level, actualising his dream of building small aircraft from scrap and coupling an auto pilot system technology, a mini aircraft, using locally sourced materials, Rejoice Oghenero is LEADERSHIP Outstanding Young Person of the Year 2021
After years of considering the possibility of flying unmanned mini planes, Rejoice Oghenero, an SS3 student from Kaima, Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area of Bayelsa State, finally found light at the end of the tunnel five months ago. And like other tech-hobbyists, he was able to couple an auto pilot system technology, a mini aircraft, using locally sourced materials.
Oghenero who has so far built well over 50 aircraft started out with drone-making using bamboo before perfecting his skill. Remarkably, 80 per cent of the materials used for his work is gotten from condemned refrigerators and from plywood. The 20-year-old dogged innovator wowed the world when he showcased the drones/mini aircraft he built in his village five months ago.
Despite coming from a poor family, Oghenero who has always had the innovative spirit came up with his first drone in 2013 after much research. The second child of a family of six turned celebrity relied on the internet, his physics textbook and his teacher to improve on his creative art.
He started out by using a wired remote which had made him lose the aircraft as it could only fly a short distance, but with his ability to create a wireless remote in 2017, he can now boastfully control all his aircraft as far as possible.
Although he grew up in the slum, he did not allow that to deter him from having a dream and working earnestly to realise that dream. Aware that you must never allow your environment outshine your dream, he never allowed his race or complexion to deter him from building an aircraft. Even though he got some discouraging words because of who and where he comes from, he believed in himself and that he could do anything.
Oghenero did not give up. He waited for more than a year, even when the aircraft was giving him tough time to put together. He was patient enough to pull through, knowing full well that patience is a virtue that everyone should strive to get. He has passion for what he does and, right now, all he is interested in is making impact and affecting lives positively.
He achieved this feat because he was determined to succeed. He had to go into petty trade — selling sachet water — just to raise money to get the needed materials. Having talent or skill is awesome, but it should not stop at that. He did not stop with the talent or skills he acquired; he kept researching to know more. He developed a curious mind to know more, read books, engaged in research and asked questions.
Oghenero is not displaying his talent to attract financial support but to leave a remarkable legacy. For him, building drones and aircraft has really taught him the virtue of patience, as he had to spend long time learning. Today, he has a small shop which he refers to as his “factory”.