Zim innovator breaks into global hi–tech commercial sector
Agric & Innovations Editor
Maxwell Sangulani Chikumbutso, a United States-based Zimbabwean widely acclaimed for his innovations that include the world’s first evergreen power generator which can produce electricity using radio frequencies, spurred by his thriving culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, is moving to realise the commercial potential of his products on the world stage.
In a Facebook post recently, the gifted innovator and Form 2 drop-out from Harare who also designed and built an electric-powered vehicle and hybrid helicopter announced his ground-breaking moves to enter the highly competitive aviation and hi-tech global entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“It’s now a new season and we are now taking orders on GPM from 20kW going upwards, telecoms solutions, security and surveillance, helicopters, UAVs, traffic safety and lighting products and also MSED powered home lights,” he said in the post.
“I will be sharing the videos and pictures in few days of the MSED powered home lights.”
Chikumbutso is now applying the roll-up-your-sleeves determination and a penchant for entrepreneurship to fuel his Saith Holdings start-up tech company to the commercialisation stage entering the very complex technologies market.
The young Christian innovator has received wide ranging support from various experts who provided him with commercialisation support, advice and connections for start-ups to help him move to the commercialisation stage.
Recently, Chikumbutso, developed a prototype automated disinfecting machine to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. He said he was motivated to develop the machine after watching how countries were struggling to disinfect public places.
Before being snatched by the US, Chikumbutso designed four major world-changing innovations — a green power generating machine, a helicopter, an electric car and drone using rudimentary materials sourced from the capital’s popular Siyaso market in a “Eureka” moment that could have revolutionised the country’s energy and transportation system.
Deeply religious, Chikumbutso, founder and head of Saith Holdings, now lives in the state of California in the United States, where he is pursuing his scientific and engineering interests.
He has over the years attracted international attention for his innovations.
In 2015, when he unveiled his innovations at Bluff Hill Industrial Park in Harare, where he got a standing ovation from an audience which could not believe a Zimbabwean could make the crucial inventions using basic, but highly-engineered materials to design a helicopter, drone, electric car and a green power generating machine.
Chikumbutso continues to fly high, coming up with new innovations.
“Today I’m sharing on our achievements on the business sides” he said in the Facebook post. “Indeed, it is an exciting season.
“We have built a house in Madokero, Harare, Zimbabwe, that fully runs on GPM. Amazingly, everything in the house runs on free energy! This technology violates thermodynamics laws. The stage we have now reached is a culmination of work that has been ongoing since 2003. We have finally made it!
“Saith Technologies is going to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. You heard right. Saith Holdings is going to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange! This is the season in which we have made history and it is all for God’s Glory.”
Chikumbutso’s move to California has provided him with a perfect innovative and entrepreneurial space for his start-up company to find success.
It has enabled him to get an innovation collaborative environment teaming up with entrepreneurs, political leaders, researchers, and investors, something which has boosted his dream to develop a thriving culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
In February this year, while on a private visit, Chikumbutso met President Mnangagwa, with sources saying the meeting centred on a number of issues, including how he could help the country in terms of power generation and the sharing of his innovative skills.
The road to success has been littered with landmines for him.
“There was a time when I was aggrieved because of the way I was treated when I started, as well as my fellow countrymen,” he recalled in the post. “I was not looking for financial support. All I yearned for was encouragement as well as validation by my own people.
“Encouragement and validation by one’s own people are crucial elements whenever one dares to traverse uncharted terrain. Instead of the support I was yearning for I was betrayed and had to bear the brunt of unmitigated acrimony from some of the people who I had trusted the most.
“However, in the midst of all the betrayal and acrimony that I’ve had to endure, God planted a number of individuals who unwaveringly supported me. Their support came in a variety of forms. Some were there to provide a shoulder to lean on whenever I needed one. Others were there to provide valuable advice which I was always in need of.
“And yet others provided financial support whenever there was a need for it. These mavericks risked everything in support of our vision. Some of them are well established and revered individuals who took a chance on our vision. As I said in an earlier post: ‘Your names shall be engraved in the history books.”’
But all this pain, is now water under the bridge as one of the greatest Zimbabwean innovators savours the ultimate currency of entrepreneurship.
By leveraging on that currency, this has enabled Chikumbutso to undertake risks, move with clarity of focus and to unleash his creative energies required to tackle the challenges of technology transfer and commercialization.
“On behalf of Saith Group, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude,” he said in the Facebook post. “The support you are giving us is overwhelming and I find myself lacking words that adequately express my thankfulness.
“The world is in need of clean energy. We are inundated with orders coming from all parts of the world. We have received orders and inquiries from as far afield as Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, to India, USA, Russia, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and UAE, just to mention a few.
“Thank you for the love and support you are giving Saith Group. You have been marketing us very well on social media platforms. Results are very positive and encouraging.”
Chikumbutso is dreaming big and wants to build Saith Technologies into a billion-dollar concern that distributes electric cars, helicopters, telecoms solutions, security and surveillance, UAVs, traffic safety and lightning products as well as MSED Powered home lights.
He is diligently forging a brand that could withstand the test of time.
His posts on Facebook have elicited glowing praise.
“Congratulations Maxwell and your team more grace more grace,” said Mainja Felix.
Added Charles Chakwizira: “Great news. Congratulations!”
Darlington Chikwani said: “This is what we have been waiting for. Sweet news to my ears.”
Others were optimistic of the future of Saith Technologies.
“A long walk to success has finally come true. We are looking forward to work together. We have history in inventions. I hope that Saith Technology will be a hub for new inventions in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. Definitely we will promote our products,” Phil Kurima
Chikumbutso is determined to succeed by all means necessary.
“Never give up! Today I want to share with you something very important in the journey. Never Give up! Even Thomas Edison when he was asked a question with a reporter on one of the interviews. This was on the light bulb invention. “How did it feel to fail 1 000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1 000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1 000 steps.
“Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophe.”