Monday, May 31, 2010

A World Cup success story

I regularly moan about the so-called 'benefits' of hosting a tournament such as the World Cup but I shall briefly put that cynicism aside for this really is a success story.

When I first met Alfred Baloyi, he was living in a shack on the southern outskirts of Johannesburg. Well-known within SA football circles for making makarapas since the 1970s. Developed from the need to protect his head from flying beer bottles at football matches, the makarapas are now ornate works of art. I'm lucky to have two Baloyi originals; personalised Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana makarapas.

Baloyi in full gear. His 'guitar' has a cd player inside playing Kaizer Chiefs songs

My Kaizer Chiefs makarapa

Today, life is much different. Having gone into partnership with a sports marketing company, Baloyi now has a production line, employing over 20 people. With the World Cup, production has gone into overdrive as the factory churns out makarapas by the hundreds. No longer living in an informal settlement, Baloyi is an accomplished businessman and celebrity. I only hope that he can spare some time to produce one more orignial for me - an England one!

Going up in the world: His image is plastered all over the factory wall and is visible from the highway

Ready-made makarapas

1 comment:

  1. The story of Baloyi and his makarapas was screened on Carte Blanche Sunday 6 June.
    What a great success story!
    We need more entrepreneurs like him :-)


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