Today, many academic institutions are studying more effective ways of cleaning, using and maintaining our enormously abundant water supply. While many of us have installed lower flow rate shower heads to help conserve water every morning, a young man, Ludwick Marishane, who grew up on the border of the Limpopo province of South Africa, has literally found a way of avoiding baths altogether!
At the age of 17, he was talking with his friend who while bathing in the Sun on a hot winter day (its Africa) said “why doesn’t someone invent something to put on your skin so you don’t have to bath”. So, Marishane went home and found some staggering statistics. For example, over 2.5 billion people today do not have proper access to water and sanitation. Within these environments, diseases (like trachoma) cause 8 million people to go blind every year when all they had to do was wash their face!
With his high school education, a Nokia cell phone (no laptop), and intermittent internet access at the internet café, he took a 4 year journey researching and developing his product, “DryBath”. After writing a patent and a 40-page business proposal on his cell phone, he went to university, met some people, and eventually commercialized the product.
Throughout his commercialization experience, Marishane has found the product has turned into a rich man’s convenience and a poor man’s lifesaver. Reflecting on all this, he had one more message to convey. While living in a poor African community earning less than $6.00/week, he came up with a way for the world not to bath. What’s stopping the rest of us?