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SOS Rhino : In the News : Rhino dung changes the lives of two young innovators

Rhino dung changes the lives of two young innovators


Christi Naude
The Natal Witness
4 July 2003

Rhino dung has changed the world of two bright young Pietermaritzburg schoolchildren who have claimed a first place in this year's High Road Peoples Bank School Entrepreneurs Competition.

Malusi Simon Ngubane and Vusi Mthembu, Grade 10 pupils of Silver Heights and Sobantu High School, have come up with the winning idea of transforming rhino dung and used computer paper into beautifully crafted hand-made paper, cards and envelopes.

Tourists and visitors will be able to buy the gift packages at flea markets and museums, art galleries and coffee shops.

The two friends, who belong to the Sabalala Nolwazi Environmental Youth Club at the Natal Museum, say that weekends are spent at the museum where the paper is torn into small pieces, mixed with water and the sterilised dung of one of the big five before being flattened into A4 and A3 sheets.

" We make about 80 sheets per day and it takes at least six hours for a sheet to dry," said Malusi.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife supplies the rhino dung, while the paper is provided by the museum.

Future plans include a prize-winning artist friend painting traditional designs on the cards and cashing in on the demand for up-market invitations for weddings and corporate functions.

What to do with their R1 000 prize money? "We will plough it back into the business. Next year we want to win the prize for operating businesses," said Vusi.

If they do, they will emulate 16-year-old fresh fruit juice provider Thobile Ntombela who took the R750 second prize in the operating business category.

Since starting her business last year in a caravan in her back yard, Thobile offers five different flavours and makes a profit of R425 a week.

The bubbly teenager believes in her product, which she says is nothing but fruit - "no sugar or water".

The Sabalala Nolwazi Environmental Youth Club is a group of 400 pupils in Grades 5-12 from 17 schools in the Pietermaritzburg area, which meets regularly at the Natal

Publish Date: 4 July 2003

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