By REFILOE MOHLOKI
Engineers are critical thinkers and creative innovators as a result of their work and study experiences. Mpho Justice Phamotse is a living example of creativity, he constructed a mobile braai stand to make life easier for street vendors to work while on the move without worrying about the load of their braai stands.
The Hlotse-born engineer invented a mobile burner that can be used for braaing, baking, searing, grilling, and smoking meat and bread. He began working on the project in 2019 and had its first prototype in 2020. The burner uses thermostats that allow cooking at varying temperatures and insulated vertical reverse-flow smoke. The burners come in a variety of sizes and forms, and the idea is to bring your preferred cooking equipment with you when you go camping or to gatherings.
The owner of Phamotse Home Renovations and Construction Company explained that he is an engineer by birth and that his journey basically started way back in his childhood. “Growing up, I was mentored by my uncle, Lehlakola Phothane, who was a fine artist. He helped me hone my fine art skills, by so saying it means I come from a long line of talented artists, this is where I drew my inspiration. I then realized my capability, started to think, visualize, draw, and then build. “
According to Phamotse, his success is a result of a combination of multiple traits; talent, knowledge, and discipline. He stated that he was brought up in a strict environment where he had to devote considerable time to working with his hands.
Phamotse asserted that he has always looked at the world from an artistic perspective and that he has always been interested in producing something useful and mobile. “The smokers are eco-friendly, no chemicals used for their operation, they only utilize wood”, assured Phamotse.
Some of the materials he used for the manufacturing of the smookers had to be imported, that alone presented a challenge for him. Also, the registration procedure was a little difficult because they needed to know which category the project belonged to.
He claimed that when it came to his artistic abilities, he was fortunate to have a good buddy, Tendo Fischer, who often challenged his ideas and they would discuss and shape them to perfection.
He concluded by saying, “My long-term goal is to impart my talents to orphans and to create the very first manufacturing plant which will be on a larger scale than now.” His short-term objectives include growing his clientele, reputation, and equipment while creating unique custom smokers.