TOUCH OF GENIUS - Ghetto youth puts exciting touch to garbage
Dwayne Henry is known as 'the scientist' or 'inventor' on Penwood Road, Waterhouse in Kingston 11. A peek into his backyard easily tells the story of how he gained the moniker. The 31-year-old has created a number of gadgets made from materials that he gathers at the Riverton City dump. One of his most creative is a multipurpose boom box that is designed into the shape of a guitar.
In addition to playing music, his hand-made gadget also has connections that allows him to use it charge cellphones and pump tyres.
"Boom Sound do whole heap a tings. It can play music, charge yuh phone, plug in yuh TV or a fan. It supply 110 current and so on. Mi also have cars and trucks which have different functions, but some a them mi nuh have no battery for. Mi really a hope say dis can give mi a break and make mi life better," he said.
Henry has a passion for creating things. He has been making toys since he was a child but the thought of making them to earn a living never crossed his mind, well not until several years ago.
Use shoes string
"Mi did deh inna a gully a hussle up some iron to go sell so mi can get something to eat and mi find four wheels. Mi carry dem home go put down and a week later mi find a battery and mi make a little car. And mi use shoes string and steer it but now mi a use technology, so mi ting dem operated by battery," he said.
So far he has not gotten any sale for any of his self-made gadgets but says the constant encouragement from family and friends serves as a motivation.
"My little cousin is one of my biggest inspiration. Every time he comes around me, it's like I get good luck. He is always playing with my creations and that is enough motivation. More time mi go on the road and people tell mi say mi mustn't stop doing what mi doing because mi talented. The children dem crazy about the stuff whe mi make too," he said.
The smile, however, quickly disappeared from his face as he spoke about his less than desirable living situation.
"I want to own a home and couple likkle businesses because right now I don't live anywhere. I am trying to make these little toys for the kids so I can get likkle funds. Right now the space limited for myself and mi madda and mi two bredda so mi just gwan live outside under this shed," he said.
Henry's bed is half of a ply board that is not long enough for him to lay straight. "Right now rain a guh fall and inside leak bad because this is not a proper home. A night time the mosquitoes dem kill mi at this time. A night time mi take in the dog dem inside and make dem sleep in a little bed mi make for dem above mine. Mi a grow dem to sell dem so mi can earn an income same way," he said.
He inhaled and exhaled deeply as he explained how he wants a better life, not only for himself but his mother, who he says has been struggling to make ends meet.
"I remember one day mi and mi mada a watch a programme on TVJ and mi see a lawyer girl a talk about her career, and how she a help her mother, and mi get up same time. Up to now mi mada nuh know why mi move, although she a ask mi. But mi eyes full up a water when mi realized say mi nuh have it to help and make her life better and a dat mi really wa do," he said.
Anyone wishing to assist Henry may contact him via Whatsapp at 876-887-5051.