Today’s MediaClubSouthAfrica.com site (http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com) has a nice article on a local South African company, AK Stone Guard, that has responded to the economic crisis and the upcoming FIFA World Cup responsibly and in a culturally relevant way.
As a result of a joint public-private effort between South African National Parks (SANparks) and First National Bank (FNB) and with the production expertise of AK Stone Guard, the Kuduzela has been formally announced! The Kuduzela is a take on the vuvuzela, the loud blow horn that can be heard at all South African football games and were the subject of controversy during the recent Confederations Cup (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09180/980550-139.stm). But rather than taking the shape of a typical horn, the Kuduzela has adopted the swirly look of a horn of the iconic Kudu, a deer-like animal, native to South Africa.
AK Stone Guard, a vehicle component manufacturer, has shifted a portion of its production facility to create the Kuduzela. As a result of the economic downturn, vehicle component production demand has decreased. AK Stone Guard were anticipating having to lay off workers. But with the production of the Kuduzela, the plant was able to maintain 25 jobs (likely supporting 25 families), and are now contributing a truly unique South African product, by South Africans, for the promotion of the historic event.
No matter your opinion on the noise/nuisance factor of the Kuduzela (FIFA has decided NOT to ban them, thank goodness), this is a wonderful story of a South African company responding to the current economic challenge, saving South African jobs, and using the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of the event.
And oh yeah, not a bad way for First National Bank to get some additional brand coverage in the market.
The full article can be found here: http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1267:new-take-on-iconic-vuvuzela&catid=46:2010news&Itemid=118
Also check the Shine 2010 (courtesy of First National Bank) Flickr stream for more photos of the Kuduzela: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shine2010/tags/kuduzela/