Most times people overlook the aspect of cleaning, neglecting its hygienic importance. Mr. George Ugo Okonkwo based in Anambra state, is an indigenous inventor who owns a company named ‘OK George-Ray Enterprise.’ The firm manufactures many kind of mops used today. BINTA SHAMA reports.
History of the invention of mop
Sometimes you wonder how the invention of mop came about and why? Well, to wipe out your curiosity, an African-American inventor by the name Thomas W. Steward was awarded Patent Number 499,402 on June 13, 1893, as the first to come up with such initiative.
According to research, the invention of mop is part of social history as well as the evolution of house wares. Steward’s creation, made of yarn, which quickly became well used for household and industrial cleaning. A wringing mechanism made the process of mopping and cleaning a lot easier and faster.
This developed sponge mop, that uses a lever and flat strip of metal to press against the wet mop and squeeze it dry has eliminated the need to bend over and wring the mop repeatedly by hand. Its development was aided by the many technological improvements in the plastics industry and gradually starts to wear out and made absorbent plastic mop heads possible.
Other modifications have made mops even more adaptable to different cleaning chores.
Raw materials for making mops
Mops consist of the same three basic parts; the mop head, a frame, and a mechanical attachment (linking the head and handle) that may be fixed or may swivel, the handle. The head of a dust mop is typically made of yarn consisting of natural or synthetic fibers like cotton or nylon. The yarn is attached to a carrier substrate, which is almost rigid and holds the shape of the mopping surface. The carrier substrate is fabric, vinyl, or molded plastic. Heads for wet mops are either made of loosely woven yarn or sponge. Sponge mops usually have rectangular heads made of a natural material like cellulose or a synthetic such as polyurethane foam.
The mechanical attachment fixes the mop head to the handle, but the attachment varies widely depending on the type, shape, and use of the mop.
The attachments on the mop, allows for removing and replacing the mop heads when they get dirty.
Handles for dust and wet mops are similar. Historically, wood handles have also been used in making wet mops, but tubular steel coated with plastic or chrome-plated is the preferred material today.
The Nigerian mop innovator
According to Okonkwo, he was prompted to create this because of the huge market there is and daily usage by private and commercial users.
“I went to FMTI and studied Mechanical Engineering Production, then UniZik to further in Economics. Then undergoing through these fields prompted me to engage in what I’m doing today going into entrepreneurship to create economic intense and study what people around me need.
“So far, the invention has been in existence for two years. We are also into the production of toilet brush and mop. I intend to go in to cleaning production in full because it is a wide range of business like cob web brushes and different kinds of brushes in general.
Lack of electricity slows work
“I aim having a larger production line like we do presently. Our major challenge has been the source of electricity supply as we all know that such, slows work from being done. And I source for my raw materials locally and internationally where need be. But because of the effort of the present administration, trying to make sure that we all appreciate and patronise all we have so as to boost our foreign exchange earnings, I patronise ours and improvise where need be. My company, uses high quality for a long lasting lifespan of consumer products.
With good patronage you pay workers
Though what we do is for house hold need, the market has been good. If only one can produce in large quantity, then producing and purchasing it will be cheaper. If only I can get support from the government, any private organisation, investors or Bank of Industry (BOA) and the likes for a large loan with low interest rate for business owners like me, then it will be a dream come true.
Presently, I run a full capacity of 16 staff including myself that I pay when needed as stipulated in our company work schedule. I pay from whatever we make and everyone goes home pleased and happy which makes one a good, dedicated and committed employee.
FMST recognises hard work
The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) did not just recognise me in their grant due to my belonging to the membership of the incubation Centre in Nnewi, Anambra state but also for my hard work and creativity. I was glad when I was called upon to receive a grant by the FMST on behalf of federal government for recognising my invention. Though, I am still very much optimistic to get the grant down as real cash in my account as promised, because you know flying to and fro Abuja, especially at the end of the year, and in a festive period is something one must calculate first before engaging oneself in such activities with pending needs to meet. The journey affected me because I did not plan it and I thought the grant would be in form of a liquid cash almost immediately the but reverse is the case now. I and many of my colleagues that attended are hoping it will be any time soon anyway not to dash our high expectations.
Youth to build the nation
Per adventure the grant comes in, my intention is to either purchase a generator set or raw materials or even both because this will depend on how much I receive at the end because as I am talking I don’t even know what is coming to me. And if given the opportunity, I will love to advise our youth to get busy with their lives by doing positive things to help grow the nation. You find a lot of them wandering around in search of easy money like BetN9ja and so on which at the end will help no one. They need to think outside the box by being creative to see how they can become problem solvers in their various societies and help make life easier for all, you know we cannot leave it for the government alone to tackle. And where this is truly achieved, the youths will be the first to benefit from it. Today, if not for my hard work, how will you fetch me out to voice out to the world? I really bless God for this privilege and I pray Blueprint newspaper continue to scale greater heights.