Sibongile Mongadi is a young entrepreneur from Soweto, South Africa. She is the founder of Ukuhamba Prosthetics, a small business that uses 3D technology to produce low cost water resistant prosthetic limbs out of recycled materials like water bottles or plastics.
Sibongile had a gum infection and was referred to her local hospital where she met some amputees and engaged in conversations with some. She said in an interview “I just had a gum infection so my local clinic referred me to my local hospital and from there I witnessed and saw how our people are struggling to access prosthetics. On that very same day, I engaged with them and tried to put myself in an amputee’s situation where they were not able to access prosthetic limbs. I thought yes it might not be me but what if it is one of my loved ones? We do not know what the future holds. I asked what the problem was?The user told me he has been on the waiting list for 5 years”. This started her entrepreneurial journey on prostheses.
She has a team of computer science graduates with backgrounds in digital fabrication and industrial product design. Their core business is in biotechnology and health care manufacturing.
They are providing solutions to those amputees that cannot easily access prosthetics because the demand and supply margin is large. They produce aesthetically pleasing prosthetics that allow for walking and give them the opportunity to overcome their disability at a practical and psychological level.
The innovative 3D printed robotic prosthetic limbs can provide African amputees with an affordable and high quality alternative in comparison to conventional prostheses. It is a low cost, high quality prosthetic delivered in the shortest possible time and empowering confidence.
This small facility has been in existence for more than two years and the founder has dreams of increasing production from her small facility.