What happens when Vuvuzelas and Decorating collide?

Desmond Tutu says “Africa is the Cradle of Humanity, we welcome you home”  Can you relate to the mix of art and life?

The world cup has a profound effect on design.

The most watched event in the world.  When millions of people are exposed to a new culture, to the fabrics, and details of of how a country lives.

Design is all around us.  The clothes people wear,  the way they gather, party and identify.  The tools we employ to celebrate.

The restaurant designs, billboard posters, souvenirs they create.

This is all part of the fabric of life.  We live and breathe through the appearance of nature, buildings, clothing.

Our lives are changed by what we see.  When stars wear label purses, we rush out to buy. China or another BRICK country creates an imitation so everyone can be “IN”

A proud moment for me as a native South African to see The 2010 World Cup play out on my mother country soil.  The soul of my being is entwined with Africa. Now living in America and loving the mix.

The people, the smells, the colors.

How can I begin to explain the joy of living in a land, rich in a mix of people so diverse, wonderful and creative?  A land that is beautiful beyond words, it takes my breath away.

A people that are artistic as their birthright?  The music, the energy, the beat?

Daily life glistens with discards that become designer must haves.

Items that  influence designers through out the world.  And the Vuvuzela?  They have changed the conversation.  We have a new world word.

Amazing Awe inspiring.  I share a video that epitomizes who I am, who my people are and links the Shofar the Vuvuzela, originally made from Kudu horn, and used to call  distant villagers to a community event and the Trumpe.

Old traditions blow triumphant!

Pay attention to the incredible beadwork of talented South Africans, including one sold at Oprah’s online store

Are you influenced by what you see happening in other places other countries though media or in real life?  Has the Vuvuzela got you talking ? Did you dance to the beat ? Comment below and share your thoughts.


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What happens when Vuvuzelas and Decorating collide? — 25 Comments

  1. Not a big sports fan, I didn’t watch much of the World Cup. However, I had a similar thing happen to me when I watched the Survivor series filmed in China. I was overwhelmed by the beauty I saw and it made me want to go there and spend months wandering around.

    I do love traveling and am sure to bring home something meaningful from every country I visit. I use these treasure to decorate my home so that when my eye falls on something as I pass through a room, it sparks a memory. It make me feel at home.

    • Darcy I feel the same about treasures found on travels. It evokes memory and moment that captures me every time I see it.

  2. Watching the World Cup, in the various cities, made me curious about South Africa and I wanted to visit. I know it’s a diverse country, Cape Town being quite different from Durban, and I’m sure a week or two wouldn’t do it justice, any recommendations on where to visit?

    • So Many places to visit Kathy. Cape Town and the Cape winelands, Cape point. Lots of incredible places. Depends on what you are looking for. Each area has amazing natural beauty that is different. Cape Town and the regions around you can spend 2 weeks there if you are so inclined. Would be fun to visit Joberg and go to the Eastern Transvaal(the name has changed). a game Reserve and perhaps even visit the sights the area. Best thing is to do some research and figure out exactly what type of holiday you are looking for. Maybe even do a tour. Check out some travel agents, books sites. Let me know if I can help you with a particular question.

  3. The “tapestry” of the Wrold Cup was pretty amazing, wasn’t it, Jen. It will be interesting to see if the colors and style of the World Cup weaves itself into the fashion of the Fall and Spring next year. All of those beautiful soccer players certainly will have an impact on mens fashions for a few seasons I am sure!

    • Chrystal that is true. I think you will see an impact. In fact South African design has already had an influence in home and fashion design and I think we will see more of it. Those soccer players are good to look at aren’t they?

  4. Australia and aboriginal art has a similar effect on me Jen. I love their beats and colours and vibrancy. I have never been to Africa, however, but I think I would love all that about it too. I have a South African Zulu AuPair in my group and I love to talk to her about her life and hear her speak her language.

    I must say though the Vuvuzelas drove me insane while watching the world cup. Like constant irritating bees!

    • Louise you are so right. Australia has so much in common with South Africa. In so many ways. You would adore Africa, it is a place of magic. I adore the amazing Africans with their way of celebrating life, speaking, dressing. Whenever I hear an African speak, I am transported back for a moment.

      The Vuvuzelas were a swarm of cicadas for me, and yes a constant noise and distraction. But so much fun to look at!

  5. Beautiful; Africa has always intrigued me — my daughter was priviledged to travel to Kenya last summer and I so enjoyed hearing her stories and seeing the photos she took. One of her friends just returned from studying a semester in South Africa, and she loved it there, too. Maybe some day I will have an opportunity to travel somewhere in Africa. The colors and energy are amazing and energizing. Am not a World Cup follower, and just recently learned about the Vuvuzelas, but it is all fascinating to me. I definitely am influenced by what I see and learn from other cultures; there is such amazing beauty in our world!

    • Donna how right you are, we are surrounded by creativity and beauty as soon as we open ourselves up to it.

  6. Jen, I can just hear the pride and love in your voice about South Africa. I personally, I think using decorating items from other countries brings something different to the table and relieves the boredom. I didn’t really follow the World Cup, but I definitely heard about the Vuvuzelas!

  7. It seems there is so much more energy around the World Cup than with the Olympics. Aside from the final match being BORING, the enthusiasm for this sport just amazes me. Though I had a Vuvuzela when I was young, I had no idea what it was called. It’s amazing what you can learn in parallel to such an event.

    • That is the true joy of world events, for me Dave, the parallel activities and enthusiasm one might never have encountered.

  8. It was beautiful to watch the World Cup game with the South Africans, to see their pride, their support of their team. I didn’t see the final match… I think there are so many beautiful people and creations in the world, it’s wonderful to be able to share what the South Africans are creating and hope that people take note! Thanks, Jen. Nice blog.

  9. Nice, Jen. I, too, love the colors, design and vitality of African artisans. I adore the beadwork you pictured—reminds me of similar artwork in Southern Mexico.
    Now, in regards to the vuvuzelas…. the non-stop, high-frequency buzzing was just toooo much! almost as irritating as cowbells at basketball games… I appreciate the cultural significance of this native instrument (vuvuzelas, not cowbells!), but my ears just can’t take the noise.

  10. I’m not one who likes to decorate but I do love seeing the beauty in other cultures. Oh and I loved the video!

  11. i watched most of the world cup games (one of the advantages of working from home!) and it was powerful to see more of south africa than i ever had before + hear all of the discussions about it. vuvuvzela, a word i didn’t even know prior to this year’s world cup, was the word on everyone’s lips, popping up everywhere from the local news to the new york times. it was an amazing glimpse into a place that i was largely unfamiliar with, and yes, it was inspiring + awesome!

  12. I live without television so I missed the World Cup…perhaps I could find it on hulu 🙂 I didn’t know you were from S. Africa and obvious that you love it. I have never been and having a 7 year old in love with big cats, most of our conversations about Africa center around wild animals, not the cities or people…I’m going to show this video to my daughter 🙂

    • Brandy, no doubt you can find out about the world cup online. How fun that you get to explore the big cats with your daughter. Hope she got a kick out of the video.

    • Thank you Bruce. What a lovely compliment. We are going to have to meet up someday so I can see more of your fabulous photos and taste some of your food!

  13. From your words I had a revelations about why I like traveling so much (especially international travel). I remember before I became the globe trotter I now am, it was my brother who traveled international because he & his wife were in the Air Force. They were stationed in Germany,Guam, to name a few places. He was even in Turkey for awhile and I remember asking him what it was like? He was really young not to mention the fact he is a home body his response was quite disappointing to me, “Its like any other place.” My reply no it not and started asking for specifics the clothes people wear, the terrain, etc.” In my travels I take notice for myself and it so resonates with me we live and breathe through the appearance of nature, buildings, clothing and I love to see it for myself.

    Lisa Ann Landry – Corporate Trainer – Unleashing the Genie!

    • Lisa I love to inspire revelations. I too feel like traveling is a journey that is definitely more than skin deep. It permeates the mind, the body the soul. It transforms us, uplifts us and I certainly am enriched by the wonder of it all.

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