Their noise has been compared to the trumpeting of an elephant, a swarm of locusts or a blaring foghorn – and beginning with Friday’s kickoff of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the soccer stadiums of South Africa will be roaring with them. Not only are vuvuzela horns a popular way for fans to show support for their favorite teams, but purchasing a horn can also be a way to support sustainable businesses – by choosing one made from kelp.
Last summer, we published a story about the CI-funded Kelpcor project in the coastal town of Port Nolloth, South Africa. The project employs locals to collect kelp from beaches, dry it and sell it for vuvuzela horns, fertilizer and other uses. Given the exploding demand for vuvuzelas in the months leading up to the World Cup, sustainably-sourced products like these can expand their reach within the global market and make a greater contribution to local, sustainable livelihoods.
Depending on whom you ask, the sound of the vuvuzela horn is a proud symbol of South African culture, an inspirational anthem or a deafening distraction to the players on the field (see this recent “Washington Post” article for more details). But no matter what your personal view on vuvuzelas, it’s hard to argue with employment.
Read the feature story to learn more about how Kelpcor has helped expand economic opportunities for former diamond mining employees on South Africa’s northwestern coast.