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HomenewsinternationalMaxwell Sangulani: School Drop-out Who Invented Generator That Runs On Radio Frequencies

Maxwell Sangulani: School Drop-out Who Invented Generator That Runs On Radio Frequencies

In 2018, Maxwell Sangulani Chimbukutso of Zimbabwe made headlines after inventing a green-powered generator that runs on 100% clean, consumable, energy from radio frequencies. 

Max, who is the founder of Saith Holdings Inc., had earlier developed one of the first electric cars in Zimbabwe as well as a helicopter that runs on six types of fuel, among other inventions. 

This is his journey as told by WoK:

Humble Beginnings

Maxwell’s invention journey began in 1997 when he began experimenting with various technologies, leading him to be featured on Zimbabwean national television as a young innovator.  

In 1999, he gained further prominence with the success of his first-ever project, a radio broadcast transmitter.

However, due to a lack of funding, this promising venture soon met its demise.

In 2001, the Broadcasting Association of Zimbabwe recognized Maxwell’s talent and sought his expertise in developing a Digital Navigation Facilitator, a gadget that guides the landing of aircraft based on their size, speed, and altitude, among other variables. 

He presented the project at the Air Zimbabwe Technical Training Centre, where it was assessed and approved by aircraft engineers. 

Although he had never been in an airplane, he had made the first modification to Zimbabwean aircraft technology since 1980. 

Sadly, funding challenges thwarted this project like the previous one.

Self Powered Generator

A few years later, Max met lawyer Bruce Mujeyi, who introduced him to the concept of patenting and volunteered to register patents for him for free. 

He also promised to finance some of the projects. 

In 2003, Maxwell conceived the ambitious idea of creating a self-powered generator, a notion that Zimbabwean professors claimed was impossible.

He however went ahead with the project, financing it with the little money he got as a truck driver. 

By 2009, the first prototype of the generator began to work, generating 1200 watts. However, no one was interested in funding the project. 

In 2009, Max was offered a hefty deal by the government of Lesotho to do a presentation of his project.

He turned down the money after meeting Zach Wazara, founder of Broadcom. 

Together, they formed a partnership and Max became influential in rebuilding the company. 

Under their deal, the second green generator was developed to produce 50 kilowatts. 

He also invented, among other projects, the first WiFi meshing technology in Zimbabwe with self-organizing base stations. 

Despite various challenges and a shortage of funds, Max went on to build three other generators that powered his mother’s house. 

Around that time, he also turned down a buyout from an unnamed European institute. 

A few years later, Max met Angolan businessman Dr Teddy De Almeida, who owns one of the biggest energy companies in Angola under the Bongani Group. 

Teddy bought into Maxwel’s vision and invested over $ 500,000 in seed money, desiring no returns but just a stern verbal agreement that the money would be used wisely.

Surprisingly, while Max’s inventions earned the admiration of global innovators and investors, the Zimbabwean government remained uninterested. 

After inventing his radio frequency-powered generator, the government merely sent a team over to confirm that his invention was working. Nothing was done after that. 

In stark contrast, the US government poached Max and gave him a job and a new residence in California in 2018, acknowledging his exceptional talent.

According to Zambian Observer, Max expressed disappointment that his country could not recognize the talent and potential that had been recognized by the US government. 

However, he expressed his pride in being an African and said he would one day return to Zimbabwe where everything started. 

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