Have you ever wanted to visit a place that was out of your reach? Maybe you want to go to a popular Broadway show that usually sells out before you can even blink. Or you have hoped to get good seats at your local stadium to watch your favorite football team, only to have those hopes dashed when you saw the outrageous price tag. We’ve all been there, right? Quite honestly, it can suck not to do and go where we want all the time!
Sometimes, the need to go somewhere is so strong that you do everything that you can to make it happen, even if that means bringing the place TO you. One man in Africa adopted this thought process when he was not able to visit the FNB stadium. Instead of giving up, he decided to build a mini-city replica of the stadium in his backyard. Why go to the stadium when you can bring the stadium to you? Plus, he will have the entire replica in his backyard for years to come-much better than a one-time visit!
Mulalo Nego Negondeni lives in the Mukula village of Limpopo Providence, located in South Africa. He told reporters that he desperately wanted to visit the impressive FNB stadium when he saw it on the local news. Unfortunately, there was no way he nor his family could afford the high-priced tickets. He had to come up with a new plan if he ever wanted to indulge himself! So instead of going broke on tickets, the 26-year-old developed his own plan to “visit” the stadium. He decided to design and build a replica of the huge stadium right in his backyard. As the days ran into weeks and then months, a whole city began to emerge from his efforts.
Negondeni started the project using just mud made from dirt and water. However, as the project began to take shape and grow, so did his imagination and creativity! He began to incorporate other materials into the project, such as cement, soil, plastic, fabric, wires, and cardboard. Many of the materials he used were simply waste products collected from friends and family. As his loved ones learned what he was building, they were happy to throw extra materials his way. The more, the better!
Negondeni talked to reporters about why he used other old materials, especially ones that would normally get thrown out. He wanted to send a message to others about re-using waste products and recycling as much as you can. He believes that it is important to recycle materials instead of just letting them pollute the environment, especially in Africa. It was easy to use the materials to build the city in his backyard!
A project of this size and importance could not be done haphazardly! Negondeni often tore down sections of his city to rebuild them when he wasn’t satisfied with the job he had done. The entire project took him more than 12 years to create. He wanted to make sure that the city was as realistic as possible. His hard work paid off in the end, as visitors are loving his amazing replica!
By 2018, the talented artist had built a design that was close to 80% complete. Negondeni still has ideas for new structures, but he is close to running out of space. We do feel that he will likely come up with a solution! Maybe a city in the front yard? One in the basement? With his originality, patience, and determination, one never knows! We know that we are eager to see what he will build in the future.