‘Bamboo Magic’ Mobile Phone & Laptop Case

{ Posted on Dec 17 2009 by Bill Zimmerman }

Bamboo laptop caseI had an opportunity to stop by the 2009 South West Regional Agro-Pastoral Show, an annual exhibition for local farmers and craftsmen, here in Limbe this afternoon. The event was held on a community field ringed by exhibition booths overflowing with every imaginable vegetable, fruit and live animal cultivated and raised in the southwest region of Cameroon. In addition, there were a number of innovators with homemade products and gadgets crafted from local materials.

Amid all the displays, one guy stood apart with some creations that can only be described as a near perfect marriage of form, function, green design and a borderline obsession with bamboo. Lekuama Ketuafor is the proprietor of Bamboo Magic, a one-man cottage industry he’s started to supplement his work as a teacher.

Using a set of simple hand tools, glue, varnish, skill and loads of patience, Lekuama finds ways of using bamboo—a ubiquitous, low-cost, renewable material—in ways many people have never imagined. Judging from the size of the crowd gathered around his booth, I suspect few Cameroonians had seen anything quite like Lekuama’s creations before.

Nice detailsDemonstrating the laptop caseBamboo laptop case with USB port accessMobile phone covered in bamboo

Among the intricately decorated bamboo shoes [2], vest, palm wine calabash, cowboy hat, clocks and so on, I was immediately attracted to two incredibly cool electronics-related pieces: a bamboo covered Nokia phone and an attractive and functional laptop case. Here’s a video of Lekuama, dressed appropriately in head-to-toe bamboo wear, demonstrating these items:

The attention to detail on the laptop case is impressive, right down to the external USB port access, shoulder strap attachments, carry handle, magnetic clasps, internal elastic keeper strap and red felt lining. And how about that chic mobile phone?

Due to the time intensive nature of his craft, Lekuama makes these items for sale in very small quantities. However, his dream is to establish a training center where he can transfer his skills to young Cameroonians and build a community of artisan microentrepreneurs. Heck, I think these items would make a splash in any eco-trendy shop in the West. Any takers?

I'm an engineer, ex-Microsoftie, founding board member of AfriLabs, co-founder of ActivSpaces in Cameroon and VC4Africa. Drawn to innovation, creativity & all things tech. More at splinter.me/billz

Comments

  1. Kene Muna says:

    that guy is really a Bamboo Magic. That is really arts. Nothing better and nothing comparable.

  2. Munashe says:

    This sems fun and interesting, I would actually buy this

  3. @Kene it’s nothing short of functional art, true.
    @Munashe I’m hoping to have a case made to fit my MacBook Pro. and probably a phone while I’m at it!

  4. Fongwen says:

    I appreciate the work of Godwin, he’s gifted & such people should be given opportunities to do more. I like the fact that he’s creative, keep it up pal.

  5. pat adey says:

    Dear sir/ma,
    please can you send me contact address of this man,i have some biz proposal for him,thanks.
    best regards.

  6. jke says:

    Dude if that isn’t an Afrigadget, I don’t know what it is… great trouvaille!

  7. […] friend Bill Zimmerman, a technologist who runs a startup un-incubator called LimbeLabs in Cameroon, posted this interesting story on his blog about a teacher who makes an extra income by fabricating gadgets […]

  8. […] and entrepreneur Lekuama Ketuafor, whose runs a sole-proprietorship cottage industry called Bamboo Magic. [via […]

  9. […] and entrepreneur Lekuama Ketuafor, whose runs a sole-proprietorship cottage industry called Bamboo Magic. [via […]

  10. […] ao amin'ity Fampirantiana fambolena sy fiompiana ity ihany dia variana tamina mpanao taozavatra iray hafa indray izy: Anivon'ny fampirantiana rehetra, nisy lehilahy iray niavaka tamin'ireo […]

  11. Samanatha Power says:

    I would like to get in touch with ekuamna Ketuafor Godwin the bamboo magic man and would be grateful if you could let me have his email and phone numbers

  12. […] Bill Zimmerman, un tecnólogo que dirige una incubadora de empresas llamada LimbeLabs en Camerún, ha escrito esta interesante historia en su blog sobre un profesor que se gana unos beneficios extra fabricando […]

  13. Vicente Valle says:

    Samantha, a quick search of his name gives you his facebook account. I’d say try and contact him through there?