By Mourice Seretta
A Toyota smart car concept that ensures children go to school smart by plaiting, giving haircuts and new shool uniforms has seen fifteen year-old Alex Mong’are from the Mukuru Art Collective awarded as the winner of the 12 years to 15 years category of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.
At the 14th edition of the art contest organized by Toyota Kenya, Mong’are also took home Sh50, 000 while Mukuru Arts Collective received Sh500, 000 for educational purposes.
Joining Mong’are in as winners in their categories were Prinyaka Sha in the Under 8 years category Toyota Magical Car that changes its shape through the entire journey around the world and works on voice command collecting water in pod wheels full of flowers, and Diyan Sha in the 8 years to 11 years, with his Toyota Twin Car that can be used as one big family or two separate cars. It attaches and detaches using magnetic force and has special roller wheels that absorbs bad gas.
Both Priyanka and Diyan who are from Premier Academy also took home Sh50, 000 each while the school received Sh500, 000 for educational purposes.
Toyota Kenya Managing Director Arvinder Reel said this year’s artworks demonstrated Kenyan children’s creativity and their great ideas of improving the lives of individuals in the society through automobiles.
“This year’s competition was themed around the challenges and opportunities brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. It was interesting to receive entries that captured the theme from a mobility perspective. For instance, one of the entrants designed a vehicle in a shape of a mask that would offer safe Covid free holiday. It is wonderful to note that important health information such as the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 is trickling to our young ones.” Reel said.
Speaking after being recognized as the winner in his category, Mong’are said he had been learning design at school and it was in line with what he will want to be in the future, an architect.
“With this prize money, I will help in opening a business for my family’s sustainability and also have some to pay school fees for my siblings and myself,” Mongare said.
The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest is a global competition held to encourage and inspire creativity in children as they imagine the future of mobility. Toyota Kenya Limited invited children from across the country to share ideas about the future of mobility by drawing their dream car under the three categories.
The top students were chosen after a three month long process of shortlisting finalists from over 800 entries. This year’s competiton received entries from all over the country including Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nyeri, Nakuru and Kisii with Nairobi taking the lion’s share of the entries at 617.
Interestingly, there were entries from 12 children of age four, as the ages 8-11 category received the most entries at 489.
Totota Kenya will now enter the art pieces from the three finalists in each category in the Toyota Global competiton where the winning student stands to win Sh500, 000 and the winning school Sh1, 000, 000.