July fever gripped Dargle last weekend. Eager boys lined up their wire cars for the inaugural running of the Dargle Drag Race, while local lovelies showed off their individually designed creations.
Members of the Nxamalala Enviro Club, facilitated by Gugu Zuma and supported by Dargle Conservancy, have been finding new and creative ways to use waste. Crisp packets litter the landscape of many Midlands villages, tetrapak is often burnt and plastic bottles bob in wetlands. With no municipal collection out this way, the youngsters who are passionate about protecting their environment, came up with fun ways of using the resources that others throw away.
Nhlanhla Zulu and Nkanyiso Zondi arrived early, their colourful car freshly polished and rearing to go.
Wandiswa Ndlela of Corrie Lynn School posed in the Autumn light for the paparazzi before the crowds descended.
Press, Celebrities and Trashionistas from across the Midlands arrived for the event of the season – from as far afield as Hillcrest and Mooi River.
Stylish Percy Duma from Dargle School tested out the suspension on his shiny gold car along the Petrusstroom Road. Later in the day, he won the prize for Best Car (a wind up torch).
Luyanda Madlala has always loved making wire cars, with scraps of wire, tops of tins and plastic tubs. His articulated truck today featured two trailers – ideal for carting horses to the races! He lined up with the rest of the field waiting for their moment in the limelight.
Nhlanhla Zulu polishes his shoes every morning before school and cleverly used the empty tins as wheels. He was Runner up in the Best Car category.
Okuhle Zuma clearly really loved his car and received a special commendation for his creativity.
Dargle locals were really impressed and thoroughly enjoyed their July morning in the sunshine (sans gin and tonic, unfortunately). “I am completely amazed at what these kids have created. Very impressive.” said Brenda Grant. “This was the most fun!” added Gilly Nelson, “I was determined not to miss this event.”
Little Sphumelele Mpungase stole the show with her cool catwalk manner and bright blue wig. Eidin Griffin, Master of Ceremonies couldn’t resist twirling with her!
The details on Brandon Shateke’s outfit were gorgeous – sweet wrappers rolled into stars and spotted coffee cups as coat tails. All foraged from the recycling bins at school apparently. Brandon said afterwards “I feel really motivated by this event. The concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle make more sense now. It is our responsibility, not someone else’s, to clean up the planet.”
Lyuanda Madlala from Nottingham Road won the prize for the best accessories – with a marvellous mask, waistcoat, fabulous hat and a splendid handbag.
Lindokhuhle Skhosana was resplendent in white, cleverly accented with colour. Her outfit created from feed bags, plastic waste, bottle tops and danger tape.
Lindokuhle was part of a creative team of eight from Shea O’Connor School in Nottingham Road who have been working late nights and over weekends to complete the stunning outfits. Smartly dressed, Kwandokuhle Ndlovu, designer extraordinaire, was terribly excited to showcase his creations.
Master of Ceremonies, Eidin Griffin chatted to him about his work. “Sometimes, I can’t sleep – my head is so full of ideas. My mom is so pleased to see that the effort I have put in is being appreciated and has earned me the Best Designer Award today.”
Antonia Mkhabela, Life Science teacher at Shea O’Connor School, was full of praise for their efforts. “I am so pleased to see them using their science and technology knowledge effectively and critically, also showing responsibility towards the environment and the health of others. These are exactly the sort of learners that the CAPS aims to produce – young people who can apply knowledge and skills in ways that are meaningful in their lives.”
Gorgeous Wandisa Ndlela from Nxamalala was the overall winner in the Best Outfit category. Her grandmother, Deli Zuma who had helped her stitch the costume, was thrilled.
Then it was time for the Drag Race – the red flag dropped and off they dashed.
The winner was the late entry blue car that had come up from far along the Petrusstroom road. Young Nqobani Mpangase happily took home a wind up torch.
For the celebratory feast afterwards, the Bate clan (Lucinda, Iona, Eunice and Emily) sliced fresh, bright oranges and popped plenty of popcorn, served in beautifully made newspaper cups.
Principal of Corrie Lynn School, Thenjiwe Ngcobo, where the Trashion Show was staged had a lot of fun. “Next year it will be even more interesting” she promised. Plans are already being made for a gala event to coincide with the Dargle Local Market on 3 July 2016. Start planning your trashy outfit right away!
“What a splendid July celebration!” said celebrity judge Brandon Powell before dashing off to watch a little Wimbledon and the actual Durban July on TV.