Upcycling as easy as twisting a cap off a bottle

Thulani Mvelase makes a move on the make-shift morabaraba bench board in Edward Road.

Upcycling materials usually require more work than potential recyclers want to invest in but a group of Sophiatown men showed that it can be as easy as twisting off a plastic bottle’s cap.

On Edward Road, a group of men have turned plastic bottle caps into draughts and morabaraba pieces. Morabaraba is a strategic traditional two-player board game commonly played in South Africa, Botswana as well as Lesotho.

It is recognised as an official South African sport through Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA), an affiliate of the South African Confederation of Sport and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).

Plastic bottle caps used as pieces morabaraba.

On Edward Road, the two games’ outlines have been drawn on to a street bench and every day the men put their blue and red caps together to take turns playing against each other.

The bench is located next to a pop-up barber tent and residents who go to cut their hair get a chance to see the group go head-to-head against each other and should they feel up to the challenge, they have an option to play.

Innocent Modukenele, one of the players, said they get together nearly every day to play. He said it’s a great way to pass the time at a very sweet spot in Sophiatown.

So the next time you finish a soft drink in a plastic bottle, think twice before throwing its cap away as you might be saving money towards your next do-it-yourself board game set.

ALSO READ: Melville’s Michael Schumacher of shoe making 


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Roxy de Villiers

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