“My name is Durojaiye Kehinde Obasanjo, Nigeria’s renowned inventor, a lot of people call me Mr Kenny and my nickname is Kenny Jet because I built something like an amphibian jet car; an aero-amphibious car, more or less like aircraft." Kenny says as he stands by the machine that has put the spotlight on him. "It is a machine that can move on land, sea and fly”
His invention, a testament to innovation and the power of the human mind, is a stark contrast from the dumpsite that is the centre of the community where he builds.
Kenny, a father of three kids, lives in Ikotun, a middle class suburb of Lagos but spends most of his time in Obadia, a part of Yaba that sits on a landfill and offers access to the Lagos lagoon.
The reason is obvious; he prefers to be close to the place where he invents, something Kenny says he has been doing since the age of 9.
His newest invention, the ‘seacraft’ or 'hydroplane' as he calls it, was designed to move in four terrains; on land, in the air, on water and under water.
Presently, he has only achieved movement on land and on water; air travel eludes him, because despite creating a workable model, he cannot find the funding to build it.
The limitations that Kenny faces with his inventing also reflects in other aspects; two of his children often play in his garage when they’re not with their mother. Even they are old enough, they are yet to start school because of what his wife calls ‘challenges’.
Still, Nigeria’s renowned inventor still works his magic, with nothing but his mind and a few resources. His ‘seacraft’ presently runs on a jet propulsion engine, the same technology that powers most traditional airplanes. When he finds the funding to build his final model, Kenny says, it will able to fit about 16 people.
So, Kenny continues; for now, he makes do with the occasional ride around the community, followed by lines of kids who run and shout in marvel at this strange contraption.