Sunday, February 21, 2010

Makarapa started by Alfred Baloyi and now a huge industry

South African Football Helmets for fans

The Symbol of South African Football Fever Global 3000

Newtown Upliftment Project

On the outskirts of the Johannesburg CBD there is a district called Newtown, the focal point of an urban regeneration programme spanning the last six years. If one stops outside one of its most famously refurbished buildings, The Mills, and takes a walk to the back of the building, what awaits is a sports fan’s wonderland.

Hundreds upon hundreds of makarapas (the modified, decorated miners’ helmet unique to South African football fans) fill the numerous shelves, cover the walls and lie on tables; being painted, sprayed, bent and dried. The enormous display wall carries iconic head-gear of the country’s favourite teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, and many more of the 32 teams that will be competing in this year’s FIFA World Cup, Spain, England, Brazil, Honduras, name it, they've got it.