By: Landing Ceesay
Dawda Baldeh, a 23-year-old native of Brikama [Misera] has recently improvised a mobile radio station from an old radio set he obtained from a nearby dump site in his locality. He has also improvised a special frequency [although it’s known formal yet] for the said radio station. The station can be tuned into by only two audience at ago.
The prospective inventor for The Gambia gives Kerr Fatou a detailed account of the journey of his innovation; as well as his intention to establish his own company, and employment many Gambians to reduce unemployment. He also highlighted what is underpinning his development into a full-fledged electronic inventor in the country.
The Brikama based man first recalled his passion for innovation during his childhood days.
“When I was a kid, I used to go to dump sites to pick up materials thrown by people. The materials I used to picked up from a dump site were old torches, radio sets and electric cables. I used them to light up our compound. Because then, there were only streets lights available but no electricity in compounds,” Baldeh stated.
Fetching the said scrapped materials from dump sites, young Dawda said marked the beginning of inventions.
“The scrapped radio sets I used to pick from dump sites were what I used to repair. Then people started to bring me their faulty radio sets to repair for them.
Baldeh explained how the story of someone who invented a mobile radio station using a radio set motivated him to make his own.
“While I was doing that, a friend of mine inform me that there is someone in another country who created his own radio station using a radio set. Then I told him that I will also try the same thing and create my own radio station from a radio set, someday.”
He narrated how his previous struggles to invent his own radio station could not yield fruits.
“I struggled a lot when I started creating my own radio station because I used to climb on Mango trees so that I could get signals for people to tune in my radio station. I tried that on so many occasions and nothing worked for me. But I keep on struggling until it works for me this time which makes me so happy.”
Dawda told Kerr Fatou that he improvised his first mobile radio station from a small radio set using multiple electric cables to enable it work; but that effort wasn’t successful.
Still recollecting his journey of invention, Baldeh continued that in 2012, from another old small radio set, he improvised a second mobile radio station which could be tuned into by two people to communicate without interruption, simultaneously. That he said was possible by the use of two electric cables he put together, but that too got spoiled later. And in 2015, he created a third mobile radio station but this time from a bigger radio set, and that one also got spoiled after being in contact with rain in a roofless structure he kept it.
After multiple attempts by young Baldeh without meeting his target, he got pessimistic and then gave up on the trade for half a decade, until in 2020, when he successfully improvised a mobile radio station with an extra feature that the previous ones lacked, which is a frequency.
When asked about why he gave up after so many trials; Dawda cited lack of support for his cause by others as the basis of his pessimism.
“You will create something very interesting in this country. No one will help or sponsor you so that you can excel and develop yourself. I think it is just a waste of time that’s why I gave up in 2015 until 2020 when I started it again.
“I have created my own radio station with its own frequency which is 102.2 and later created another which is 102.9. But people cannot tone my stations because I don’t have transmitter due to lack of money.”
He disclosed that his return to doing what he loves, after 5 years break was influenced by a friend of his who promised him publicity on YouTube.
“I met a friend whom I explained to, the work I do. Then he [his friend] asked me to go back to it. And he promised me that he will create a YouTube Channel for me where he will post my works for people to see what I do. He then created that for me and posted some of the works I did.”
As nothing goes successfully without challenges, the technical-minded said his biggest challenge is lack of finance to set up his own functional radio station and employ others.
“Right now, my biggest challenge is lack of finance. I need support to realise my dream, develop myself and help my family. If I have a support, I will start going on air. I will employ a lot of young people sitting without job, which will reduce unemployment in the country.”
Young technician is a literate in Arabic and he’s ambitious to improve the English language he learnt while studying Arabic. But he said lack of sponsorship bars him from attaining that ambition.
“I am an Arabic student, my English is not strong. I applied a school where I can improve my English language but I can’t enroll at that school due to lack of sponsorship.”
Dawda appealed for help to attain his goal to improve his English language and acquire equipment to start his own radio station he intends to called- GAM RADIO.
“I am calling on the government, NGOs and individuals to help me with my education and materials that I need to start my radio station operational.”
“If I have an antenna and transmitter, I will start my own broadcast radio station which I intend to name as GAM RADIO.