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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs