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Posted on: Friday, 4 December 2009

Kelp vuvuzelas – a local, green touch for the Fifa World Cup Final Draw

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Kelp Vuvuzelas

Kelp Vuvuzelas

I stumbled upon a new type of vuvuzela that definitely bears talking about. Not that I’m a fan of the vuvuzela. I happen to hate them. I know, how very unpatriotic of me, but anything that makes that much noise and is mass produced in plastic so that it bears little resemblance to the original home-made kudu horn version is hardly inspiring. I’m not surprised there was an attempt to ban them.

But the vuvus made in kelp are works of art. And I’m inspired to buy one in time for the World Cup Final Draw on Friday, particularly as its unique to Cape Town. Graphic designer, Adam Carnegie, is behind the kelp vuvuzelas, and when you see them, your initial reaction is ‘well, of course!’ … Tell me you haven’t used stray pieces of kelp lying on the beach to fashion a pipe and blown bubbles in the odd tidal pool for your child? It’s possible you haven’t, but we have, and kelp is so obviously an abundant resource to use in place of plastic for the production of vuvus, that I’m amazed it hasn’t been done before …

Adam Carnegie

Adam Carnegie

Graphic designer, Adam Carnegie, began playing with kelp in much the same way as I, although in a far more artistic vein – he fashioned a few kelp vuvus, painted wonderful designs on them and gave them to his son to sell at a craft market at his school to raise funds. They were an instantaneous hit, so much so, that Adam gave further consideration to turning them into an opportunity.

He formed kelp (kelp environmental learning project), which initially based itself at his home in Zeekoevlei. Today the workshop has moved to the Kommetjie Environmental Action Group at  Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie. Now as many as six formerly unemployed men and women collect kelp from local beaches, dry them in the sun and then carve them into vuvuzelas, with a difference. They then duplicate Adam’s designs and transform the kelp into what could easily pass for masterpieces.

Kelp Vuvuzelas

Kelp Vuvuzelas

At the same time as collecting kelp, Adam’s team also pick up litter, and their very presence helps deter poachers illegally removing perlemoen and lobster. It’s a real ‘feel good’ story, and one many will want to support, particularly as when buying a vuvuzela, you don’t just get an instrument to trumpet like an elephant at the games, you also get an art piece for your wall. I really like the idea.

The Fifa World Cup Final Draw takes place on Friday, 4 December and organisers are expecting around 8 000 people to gather at the CTICC.

The 90-minute event, which will include performances by Johnny Clegg and the Soweto Gospel Choir, will be broadcast to 200 countries – a critical moment for Cape Town. It will really place us in the spotlight.

Kelp Vuvuzelas

Kelp Vuvuzelas

But Long Street is where all the fans will throng for a celebratory party after the Final Draw, where the 2010 Fan Fest venues will also be announced. These public viewing sites where fans can watch the games without being in the stadiums apparently attracted 18 million fans during the 2006 Fifa World Cup.

The good news is that you can buy your kelp vuvuzela on Long Street right before the party, if need be. A shop has been set up at The Bead Merchants in Long Street, where they are preparing to be inundated before the draw.

You can also buy one at the CCDI’s Handmade [Cape] Wholesale showroom, 75 Harrington Street.
Or if all else fails, phone Rosemary Reddy on 083 2555 109 or Thandeka Tyatyantsi on 084 866 3600.

Go on, bag a kelp vuvuzela!

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Wanda Coustas


Wanda Coustas has written in one form or another for 10 years, seven of them as a copyblogger. She has travelled the Western Cape extensively and the rest of the country in protracted road trips that have given her both joy and an ongoing relish for experiencing what she writes about first-hand. She is a trained opera singer, poet, eurythmy dancer, philosopher, and bee whisperer.

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1 comment about Kelp vuvuzelas – a local, green touch for the Fifa World Cup Final Draw
  1. January 25th, 2010 at 22:15
    South Africa Tours says:

    Wow! those really look fantastic, I am also NOT a big fan of the ‘normal’ vuvuzela, but those are awesome :)