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Who knew? Maybe vuvuzelas can be useful after all

November 9, 2010 | 10:08 am


Anyone who attempted to watch a single World Cup match this summer with the volume on probably had a suggestion or two about what all those fans in South Africa should do with their vuvuzelas.

Vuvutree_250 Most of those suggestions probably weren't all that practical, let alone printable.

But when the World Cup buzz died down, so to speak, South Africans Matt Blitz and Shaun McCormack came up with Wozela!, an international competition to determine the best re-use for those droning plastic horns.

And the winner is ... a pair of hoop earrings.

The winning design, submitted as a sketch by Cape Town resident Megan Bernstein, depicts earrings constructed of several circular cross-sections of the horn dangling inside one another according to size.

A panel of South African artists and designers chose Bernstein's design Tuesday from more than 150 photographs, videos and sketches submitted for the contest that began shortly after the end of the World Cup in July.

According to the competition's website, "The winners will be handed over to local artists and craftsmen to produce for themselves to sell around the world. They’ll get all the proceeds. You’ll get all the glory."

Blitz said he and McCormack came up with the competition as "a way to extend the life of vuvuzelas and keep them from landfills."

Lights_250 Some of the suggested uses for the horn are humorous (such as a muzzle for Mel Gibson), but a lot of the designs do appear to be pretty feasible, in a quirky sort of way (tables, chairs, xylophones, lighting fixtures, dog accessories of all sorts, toilet paper holders, cocktail shakers, tools ... you name it).

“They're not just an aesthetic re-use,” Blitz said. “They could become a product that community artists could construct to create their own revenue.”

See all the designs at the Wozela! website. And while the competition may be over, you can let us know any ideas you might have for those glorious instruments (just remember to keep it clean).

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photos: Top, a vuvuzela made up as a lamp, with other paper designs next to it, is viewed by judge in Cape Town, South Africa, during a competition to re-use the musical instruments. Bottom, vuvuzelas made up as a Christmas tree and a bank of lights were also in the competition. Credit: Schalk van Zuydam / Associated Press