How a Nigerian schoolboy’s dream car won him a multimillion naira prize

How a Nigerian schoolboy’s dream car won him a multimillion naira prize

Oluwademilade Odumuboni, a 10-year-old student from Rumuepirikom, Rivers State, Nigeria, has a big dream: to create a car that can convert waste into food and energy. His dream car, which he named “Waste Converter”, caught the attention of the judges of the 2022–2023 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, a global competition that invites children to draw their vision of the future of mobility.

Out of 782,000 entries from 76 countries, Odumuboni’s drawing was selected as the best one, earning him the grand prize of $5,000 (about 2.1 million naira), a plaque, and a certificate. His school also received $10,000 (about 4.2 million naira) from Toyota Nigeria Limited, the local sponsor of the contest.

Odumuboni said he was inspired by the problem of waste management and food insecurity in his country and continent. “I wanted to create a car that can help people to reduce waste and produce food and energy at the same time. The car can collect waste from different sources, such as households, markets, farms, and factories, and convert it into useful products, such as fertilizer, biogas, electricity, and animal feed. The car can also grow crops on its roof and sides using hydroponics and solar panels,” he explained.

He said he was surprised and happy when he learned that he had won the contest. “I did not expect to win because there were so many entries from different countries. I was very excited when I received the call from Toyota Nigeria. I thank God for this opportunity and I thank my parents and teachers for their support,” he said.

Odumuboni’s drawing was among the nine national winners that were sent to Japan to compete in the world contest. There, his drawing was evaluated by a panel of experts from various fields, such as art, design, engineering, education, and environment. The judges praised Odumuboni’s creativity, originality, and social relevance.

“His drawing shows a deep understanding of the challenges facing his country and continent and a strong desire to solve them. His car is not only a vehicle but also a solution that can benefit many people and the environment. He has demonstrated a remarkable imagination and vision for the future of mobility,” said one of the judges.

Odumuboni said he hopes his drawing will inspire other children to pursue their dreams and use their talents to make a positive impact on the world. He said he wants to become an engineer and inventor when he grows up and continue to create innovative solutions for society’s problems.

“I love drawing and I love cars. I think cars can do more than just transport people and goods. They can also help people to live better lives. I want to use my skills and knowledge to create cars that can make a difference in the world,” he said.