Somalia’s Toy Story: The Third Grader Who Makes Toys From Waste Products


A young boy in the city of Buhodle has risen to fame for making toys from waste products, his name is Guled Adad Abdi. “Guled” which can be translated to mean ‘Victor’ has  been fascinated with making toys from a young age. Abdi’s mother and only parent, Maryam Hassan seems to think his fascination with toys began when she would leave him at home with toys to assemble while she was out looking for a means to keep the family. He told BBC, “I used to play with them without any motor. But later I said to myself: ‘Why don’t you make them into a moving machine?'”.

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guled adan abdi helicopter

Abdi, whose family’s financial situation doesn’t permit him to attend school regularly commented that he learned to make these toys by studying actual cars. He has built airplanes, toys, armored cars and more, all from bits of discarded products which he connects to a battery-powered control box. His teacher, Asha Ahmed Omar showed great interest in his creations and told the local authorities about him and this brought him fame in Somalia.

Some concerned citizens even took to Twitter to support him and his inventions with the hashtag  which means “give Guled a helping hand”. The young boy met with the President of Puntland (a sovereign region in northern Somalia), Abdiweli Mohammed Ali who also showed keen interest in the boy’s hard work and offered him a scholarship. 13 year old Guled It is impressing to see the Somalian government interested in a boy like Guled. Africa has numerous young innovators, with the right support and encouragement plastic airplanes can become real airplanes. By supporting these bright minds,  they become empowered to do more and make a name for our beloved continent. We hope to hear better news about Abdi’s innovations, and also hope that more government officials and even private individuals will invest in children with great potentials. God bless Africa.

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