The Evolved Man of the Week: Colrerd Nkosi

Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s “Evolved Man of the Week” profile. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved person, famous and non-famous individual alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to innovator, carpenter, builder, and electrical engineer Colrerd Nkosi.

Colrerd Nkosi is the founder of the Hydro-Electrical Power Plant in Malawi. His idea to divert water from the Kasangazi River to a slope via pipes then to his turbine and motor was enough to generate over 400 volts for his village. Mr. Nkosi has supported creating two other hydroelectric power stations in nearby villages. He has trained other volunteers to run and maintain them.  Over 2,000 people have benefitted from his sustainable and locally generated electricity.

Colrerd Nkosi started his project with a lot of junk and even more imagination. He had all the junk he needed—and that would bring electricity to his small village in Malawi, and he accomplished his goal. Using a repurposed corn-shelling machine motor and a fast-moving river, Nkosi created an electric turbine that’s now lighting up homes for him and his neighbors for free in the town of Mzimba.

Like Thomas Edison, he did a lot of experimenting. He started when he put a bicycle in the river and brainstormed about how the current moved the pedals and could be turned into power. Then, he used an old refrigerator compressor that converted energy for 6 homes. His neighbors were clamoring, so he continued to upgrade. In addition to bringing light to his neighbors literally, Nkosi’s dream is to bring enlightenment to them as well—through education.

Nkosi already gives hands-on lessons in the basics of carpentry and engineering to village children and fervently hopes to expand his own skillset with more advanced studies. He won the Point Of Light Award from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 2018. 

Here is Colrerd Nkosi in his own words about his passion for education and dreams in the future: 

“I wish I could find a sponsor to help me fulfill my plan of going back to school to further my knowledge and pass on what I’ve learned to others.”

At the Evolving Man Project, we wish Colrerd Nkosi much-continued success as he continues to be the bringer of light to his fellow citizens of Malawi. Today we honor Colrerd Nkosi as our Evolved Man of the Week.

Self-taught electricity producer Colrerd Nkosi directs a water pipe to a hydro-powered turbine he designed near the Yobe Nkosi village, northern Malawi, on August 23, 2021. – With no prior electronics training, Colrerd Nkosi turned an old fridge compressor into a hydro-powered turbine and connected it to a nearby river, generating electricity for six households. Today, the village of Yobe Nkosi is supplied by a bigger turbine built from the motor of a disused maize sheller and set up on the village outskirts. Power is carried across steel wires hanging between a two-kilometre line of tree trunks topped with wooden planks. Users only pay Colrerd Nkosi slightly more than $1 (0.85 euros) for maintenance. (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP) (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

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