Empathy for others is the discourse this week on African Voices Changemakers as Crystal Chigbu, a Nigerian prosthetics maker, and Tendekayi Katsiga, a Zimbabwean hearing aid manufacturer, relive the circumstances that birthed their passions. The programme is sponsored by Globacom, Africa’s foremost telecommunications firm.
For Chigbu, a 2002 graduate of Biochemistry from the University of Lagos, the traumatic experience she had as a mother of a congenitally deformed child whose limbs had to be amputated, made her develop empathy for those who are going through same trauma but have no financial muscle to tackle the challenge.
“Seeing other children and families go through the same process without a clear view on how to adapt to the challenges of living with limb loss gave vent to the creation of Irede Foundation which has, since inception, restored hope to children living with the loss of limbs by giving them prosthetics,” she said.
In the same vein, Tendekayi Katsiga, a Zimbabwean electronics technician, had a similar experience that fanned his commitment to the cause of helping impaired children. Katsiga established Deaftronics, a company that specializes in the manufacture of hearing aids after a chance encounter with a 15-year-old boy who could not afford a functional hearing aid.
His product called ‘Solar Ear’ is on record as the world’s first solar-powered hearing device complete with a battery charger for children with hearing defects. The brand has gained global reckoning as a result of its affordability and functionality.
The 30-minute magazine programme will be broadcast on CNN on DSTV channel 401 on Saturday at 9.30 a.m. Repeats of the engaging edition will be broadcast on Sunday at 4.30 a.m., 7.30 a.m., 12.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. An added repeat comes up on Monday at 4.00 a.m., while a two-part, fifteen-minute repeat will be shown on Tuesday and Wednesday at 6.45 p.m.