Ernest Majenge is going viral for his innovative wheelchair that has the ability to traverse stairs with ease and ensures comfort for the wheelchair user.
Soweto, South Africa (12 March 2021) – The WheelChair Doctor founded by Ernest Majenge is being praised for innovating a wheelchair that makes South African buildings more accessible for people with disabilities.
Ernest created a wheelchair that has the ability to make use of stairs. The chair makes the process far more comfortable for a person in a wheelchair.
While most buildings in South Africa have some form of accessibility for people with disabilities, not all of them do. Another massive issue is loadshedding which makes lifts inaccessible to people with disabilities, this often leaves them stranded on a floor without the ability to get to the next level.
Ernest’s innovation first got people talking in 2020 when it was featured at the SA Innovation Summit Inventors Garage.
“We developed unique devices so that PRM can go up and down stairs while seated in a wheelchair, with an assistant who maintain the balance. The concept is based on wheels that are either circular when rolling, and that we transform into segmented wheels only when going up stairs. The PRM contributes to the propulsion by pulling on small handles fixed on each wheel.”
His story starts long before this 2020 summit. Ernest has seen how much people with disabilities had struggled with accessibility. He also saw children with wheelchairs that should have been retired long ago. He started a wheelchair repair service, hoping to do full repairs within 24 hours.
He then became inspired to work on a prototype wheelchair that would have the ability to traverse stairs. Once he perfected the prototype, he took his chances trying to find investors. He faced many closed doors until he found an investor in France.
Ernest set up a warehouse where he currently hires four people. They have received a few orders and hope to do even more as the story of his specialised wheelchair makes headlines.
“It has been hard but we are making progress. And with every order we see a brighter future and believe that the innovation will just get better. I could not get anyone to believe in this and I did not believe it would even get this far. I knocked on every door you can imagine.”
“There is no other wheelchair like this… it’s proudly South African. I have patented it and we are coming up with more wheelchairs for different scenarios and areas, such as beaches, schools and old age homes, among others,”
Nevermind this innovation making waves in South Africa, it could do incredibly well on the international market too! So the more we celebrate Ernest and his success, the more the world will listen too! You can find them on Facebook here.