A carpenter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, works so handily with tools that you’d never guess he made his stylish tables and chairs with his feet.
He’s Sintayehu Tishale, and this 42-year-old woodworker has been hammering away as one of the area’s finest craftsmen for more than 20 years, according to Barcroft Media, a British news agency.
Tishale lost the use of his arms after being born with debilitating polio, but hasn’t let that stop him from defying the odds to become a successful provider for his wife, Guday Agazu, 38, and their five kids.
Despite his limited mobility, the skilled craftsman wields a hammer with incredible accuracy and can saw, chop, hammer, lathe wood and operate dangerous machinery with his dexterous feet, skills he taught himself as a child.
“When I was very young I used to like to work in a garden using my legs as hands,” he said. “Later I began to fix small things like stools and practiced sharpening knives with my feet. I made sure to practice as much as I could because I knew I had to make my feet work like hands.”
Tishale’s family didn’t notice their son’s handy talents. Seeing no other employment prospects for him, they taught him to beg on the streets.
“I was begging for many years by traveling from place to place,” Tishale said. “I traveled to Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan just to beg or to try to get something good for my life.”