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My Sh10 helmet lining can cut boda boda deaths




Alex Muyah, inventor of ROC Helmet, a disposable and sterilised cap specially made for pillion passengers to don before putting on the motorcycle helmet. PHOTO | DIANA NGIA | NMG 

Computer scientist Alex Muyah had moved back to Kenya after 17 years in the US when he learnt of his cousin Stephen Kinuthia’s death.

“He was involved in a motorcycle accident and had no helmet which saw his head smashed and had no other injury,” recalls Mr Muyah.

That was in 2015 but the father of four speaks of the death like it just happened. He is wondering why Kenyans hate donning the helmet.

“It’s sticky, sweaty and stinks. It is just dirty, which sees many shun the helmet. But it means life or death and that saw me invent a disposable cap, which one can put on before putting on the helmet. After, the journey, you dispose of the cap, happy you safeguarded,” he says.

Mr Muyah’s ROC Helmet was patented following assistance from University of Nairobi that helped him prepare a proof of concept paper as well as making the product as cheap as possible at Sh10 and has in the past six months been piloting.

“I believe ROC Helmet will prove useful enabling Kenyans to put on the helmet to save their lives instead of exposing themselves to unnecessary danger. I have done something for my country since motorcycles are here to stay and Kenyans rely on them to move to various places faster. Especially, areas not served by public service vehicles, motor cycles are inevitable during the day or at night,” he says.

Mr Muyah who runs Royalle Dishes and a spirits and wines shop at Nairobi’s Highrise area studied at Molo Secondary School before going to the US for his degree at Boston College as well as entrepreneurship.

“I patented my product to safeguard it against copycats and also provide me with a bargaining chip in case companies come calling.I have invested about Sh600,000 from inception to profiling my product globally on various websites,”he said.

ROC Helmet, he said, is sterilised, making it safe and hygienic to use as it covers the hair and entire ears.

“I have ensured that no one else can come up with such a design or replicate it since it is protected,” he said.

Mr Muyah has since been holding workshops for motorcycle riders within Nairobi, urging them to invest in his product.

He has also been meeting with directors of the National Transport and Safety Authority, seeking a platform to popularise his product, which he believes is meant to encourage Kenyans to wear helmets.

“It is better to save your life than live with regrets when you are maimed just because you declined to put on a helmet.”

Mr Muyah is also looking to establishing a factory for the caps once sales gain momentum which he believes could help generate jobs for Kenyans.

Motor-cycle taxi (boda bodas, locally) accidents have been a major concern and the business is set to be regulated under the latest attempt at regulating transport business.