The Federal Government has appointed
Jessica Mathews, a U.S.-based Nigerian, who
invented energy generating football and skipping
rope as an `Entrepreneurship Ambassador’.
The Minister of Trade and Investments, Dr
Olusegun Aganga, announced this on Friday after
the presentation and demonstration of the
invented products to President Goodluck
Jonathan at the Presidential Villa.
Aganga said, “Mathews is an inspiration to every
Nigerian, especially children, and the product is
portrayed as made by a Nigerian for the world.
The product is actually versatile, it is not just
about the electricity you see, you can use it to
charge your mobile phones and fans so there are
so many things for which it can be used.
“We are also looking at the possibilities of
manufacturing it in Nigeria and see how we can
make it cheaper in this country.
“I am glad that Matthew has also agreed to be
our ambassador in terms of promoting
entrepreneurship in our universities.
“What we want to do is to bring successful
entrepreneurs like Matthew to inspire the
students and make them more creative so that
they can also be employers of labour,’’ the
Matthew, an Edo-born inventor, who
demonstrated the soccer ball, said it could
generate three hours of electricity after 30
minutes of play and could store power for 72
The electricity generated by the ball, according to
her, can be used as electricity source to power
lighting points and household equipments.
Mathews, 25, and Co-founder of Uncharted play,
said the airless football used as electricity power
source when not in use, could span for 18-
months before replacement.
The inventor, who studied Psychology and
Economics in Havard University, U.S., said she
taught herself Electrical and Mechanical
Engineering because of her interest in the field
She said her motivation to invent the ball and
skipping rope came when she attended a
wedding in Nigeria and there was a sudden
“I am a Nigerian and was in Nigeria, it was my
Aunt’s wedding and we lost power. How many
times, is there anyone who has not been
“For me, I was raised to seek a solution when
there is a problem. To be as creative as you can
and be opened to different ways so you can
address the situation,’’ she said.
Mathews, who spoke on why she chose to use
football, explained: “to me, we all know that
football is the most popular thing in the world.
“To most people, football form is the most
convenient; any man on the street will be
attracted to kicking football.
“So, the idea is to put something that people
really love and get more out of it.
“These are the things we can use to see if we
can amplify existing behaviour to bridge the gap
between what is working and what is not
working in this country that we love so much.
“We take our passion for sports that is so
beautiful and we say okay, let’s give people
renewable clean power that they can control.’’
She said the innovation, which had been
accepted and already in use in the U.S., would
be affordable when mass-produced and
introduced into the Nigerian market.
“Right now, if we are going to sell it here in
Nigeria, it will be equivalent to what you will pay
for a solar inverter.
“Right now, we have not started making them
here, we are selling them in New York and in
New York, we charge people a lot because it is
New York,’’ she said.
Dr Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the
President on Media and Publicity, said Jonathan
congratulated Mathews on her creativity and
“The president is particularly impressed that
Matthew is multi-talented, and that she
developed herself in science despite that she is a
psychologist and economist.
“It is a proof of the quality of human resource
we have in Nigeria and the president is proud of
her,’’ Abati said.
Abati said the president assured that the
invention would be used as a major tool to
mobilise young children and encourage them to
think more deeply.