Africa is undeniably a hub of brilliant talents. Given the right opportunities and conducive atmosphere to thrive, her talents has yielded tremendous contributions across various fields.
In celebration of #BlackHistoryMonth today, we set our lens on one of her young pioneers paving way for other creative geniuses.
When it comes to powering the local innovation game, at just 26, Fabrication Engineer and Entrepreneur Jerry Isaac Mallo, Founder Bennie Agro Limited, a machine Design, and Fabrication company has established himself as a force.
Pushing boundaries to create amazing products that solve real problems, the company’s vision is “To drive a mechanized Agricultural system across Nigeria and beyond.”
He is the brain behind Nigeria’s first carbon fiber (plastic) sports car, dubbed the “Bennie Purrie.”
Mallo aims to bring to life an automobile that could one-day rival popular sports cars like the Lamborghinis and Ferraris.
The Plateau state-born’s “Bennie Purrie” a two-seater sports car launched in 2019 at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, is made of carbon fibers, stronger and lighter than steel and aluminum parts popularly used in the production of today’s automobiles. The car which features Gull-wing doors and a 2.0-liter engine that pumps out 130 horsepower inside the bonnet is made from fiber to enable it to withstand shocks and prevent escalating auto crashes. It is also protected with recycled fibreglass, also known as reinforced plastic.
According to Mallo, most people get crushed and mashed in cars because those cars are made from aluminum or galvanized sheets that cannot absorb shocks at high speed. Explaining further, he said that his cars are made of fibres that have the characteristics of glass, noting that if they get hit, they break like bottles and the airbags protect the individuals.
The cars are also made with tubular chassis providing a firm body to the car which makes it rugged for Nigerian roads. In a bid to ensure the cars are conducive temperature-wise, Mallo stated that the vehicles have great cooling systems, with four radiators to ensure that the cars are cool regardless of the temperature.
Regarding the speed, the inventor says his first model goes from 0 to 120 in 12seconds. He adds that it is a 2.0litre engine car that produces about 130 big horsepower, he stated in a chat with Channels.
He promised that more will be done, saying “there is big room for improvement and we won’t stop till it gets better”.
According to him, he was inspired to create the sports car because Nigeria and Africa is very big markets for luxury vehicles.
“In Europe, we learnt that making the car is just half of the challenge, and selling it is the other half; Africa is usually is the target place to sell these vehicles, so I feel there’s a big market for it here,” Mallo stated.
He also noted that the African continent, contrary to public perception has all the required resources and raw materials used in manufacturing the products, but sadly the opportunity hasn’t been taken up and the resources are wasting away, hence he decided to venture into the terrain
He said he was challenged and had to do something “practically inclined” which would serve as a platform for other skilled persons to rise to the challenge and create noteworthy products .
Mallo, full of appreciation to the Plateau State government under Simon Lalong said he’s been given immense support, stating the government powered the unveiling of Bennie Purrie.
Driven by the desire to proffer solutions to problems around him, creating better living conditions, given the global pandemic, Mallo also dived into the production of ventilators sourced from local materials owing to the inability of African countries to purchase the expensive medical equipment to help save lives during Covid-19.
According to Mallo, it became a priority for his company seeing that many African countries cannot afford to get ventilators to fight COVID-19, and those who have the funds cannot get due to the shortage in supply.
The internationally recognized creative genius firmly believes his firm has everything needed in place, “Nigeria will be a proud manufacturer of its ventilators.
Jerry has also produced various in-demand machines to aid farm processes with a lens on improving agriculture in Nigeria. Some of his products include Bennie Tractors, Rice Destoning Machine, Bennie Plastic Melting Machine, Grinding Machine, and Combined Thresher amongst others.
Mallo was quick to find his passion right from age 5 when he would make toys out of the flimsiest things. At 18, he made his first car out of recyclables. Mallo received a scholarship to the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K. to study art after being sponsored many thanks to his talent, although, along the line he dropped out, he never lost focus and is now evidently living his dream.
Jerry Isaac Mallo has been received recognition beyond the shores of Nigeria such as being dubbed the face of MSME in Nigeria and the winner of the 2017 National MSME Awards.