Globe Post catches up with Idris Mnqweno Nomgca: The visionary who turned a bunk bed into his own functional car

Five years after former Migson Manor resident, Idris Mnqweno Nomgca, built his own vehicle, Globe Post caught up with the 56-year-old innovator who nurtured a profound love for cars from a tender age. This passion culminated in the creation of “Zwane,” his very own car constructed entirely from scratch, utilizing his kids’ bunk bed as the foundational frame and scavenged materials from scrapyards.

Mnqweno’s late father, Thamsanqa, instilled in him the skills of driving and car repair at the age of 11. Following his schooling, he enrolled at Umtata Technical College, augmenting his expertise in panel beating. Unfortunately, financial constraints halted his academic pursuits, yet this setback never quenched his aspirations.

Residing in Lenasia South and grappling with transportation challenges, often escorting his children to school by foot or carrying them on his back, Mnqweno resolved to craft his own vehicle. He started gathering car parts from scrapyards. A pivotal moment emerged when his friend, Mzayifani from Thulamntwana, generously provided an engine and gearbox, initiating Mnqweno’s journey. To build a frame for his car, he repurposed his children’s double bunk bed. Reflecting on this choice, Mnqweno shared with Globe Post: “I grew tired of scouring for steel and decided to use my kids’ bed for the frame. When I mentioned building a car, they were astonished and even thought I was unwell! Few neighbours and acquaintances believed my endeavour. Only one neighbour had faith in me, knowing that when I set my mind to something, I accomplish it.”

Enduring challenges and persistent headaches that compelled Mnqweno to resort to Panado every night, his dream began to take form in 2017, and by January 2018, his car hit the streets, surprising everyone who encountered it.

Now residing in uMtata, Mnqweno’s vehicle has traversed more than 56 000 km’s, ferrying him to various destinations. Capable of achieving speeds of up to 140 km/h, Mnqweno’s creation stands as a testament to his unwavering ingenuity.

Kudos to Mnqweno for his remarkable creativity and determination!

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