News / Africa

South Africa Vendors Hawk Mandela-themed Merchandise

A street vendor sells Nelson Mandela-themed buttons outside the house where the anti-apartheid icon once lived in the township of Soweto, Dec. 9, 2013.
A street vendor sells Nelson Mandela-themed buttons outside the house where the anti-apartheid icon once lived in the township of Soweto, Dec. 9, 2013.
They've sprung up at all of the mourning sites. Outside of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Nelson Mandela's former home in Houghton, the Mandela Museum in Soweto and the FNB Stadium, vendors are hawking merchandize bearing the anti-apartheid icon's name or likeness.

Just down the hill from the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Elizabeth Sithole, 52, was drawn in by a vendor after seeing the body of Nelson Mandela, which lay in state on Friday.

A man selling Mandela hats, posters and buttons caught her ear, and within a few minutes, she had spent $30.

"I'm buying so that I can be able to remember Dr. Nelson Rohilhala Mandela as my icon," she said. "I did buy a poster so that I can be able to put it inside my house to remember him whenever, even my kids can be able to see, and even my grandchildren can be able to see him."

In the days that have followed Mandela's death, makeshift memorial sites have popped up all over Johannesburg and Pretoria, becoming selling grounds for Mandela-themed goods.

Selling hats, t-shirts, blankets, buttons and hologram posters, these entrepreneurs have done well.

Frans Mathe used a different title for his job.

"Me, I'm a hustler, I always sell," Methe said. "So I also watched this target. So most people you know, they like Mandela. So I said let me buy these pictures and then try to sell for those people who can't reach, you see."

Mathe went to a store and purchased 100 Mandela hologram posters for 10 cents each, which he was selling for 20 cents on the street. Thursday, he sold 30 of them. Friday, he sold 20.

In the Fashion District in downtown Johannesburg, which is filled with immigrant-run clothing stores, Mandela items were selling well.

"As soon as Mandela, when he was dead. When we heard that, we put those shirts with his pictures for memorial service," said Mary Terada, an Ethiopian shopkeeper.

Daniel Onyeneaucheya, a Nigerian clothing shop owner down the street, decided against selling Mandela items.

"I don't need to sell his items to respect him or follow him," he said. "I believe that everyone should respect him the more by living by the way he taught us to live."

But he did not hold it against others who were making sales.

In Pretoria Friday, painter Radineo Letlape and his friends sold his paintings along the queue of people waiting to pay their respects at the Union Building.

“It's a bit of carving, a bit of painting, plus a bit of charcoal work, but the faces itself are actually being portrayed by the wood," Letlape said.

Each is painted on a board, and the wood is left unpainted within Mandela's face.
He spoke about wanting everyone in South Africa, also known by the slang word  Mzanzi, to have something that would remind them of Mandela. He is hoping his paintings can do that for some.

"By seeing him actually every day, it's not easy for us to can forget Tata, so I'm playing my part, a bit of my part, to actually have him around Mzanzi," Letlape said.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid