Friends share a dream

2016-04-28 06:00
 Raymond Pani and Sandile Mbuthu have started KasiEcoWise to change local mindset about recycling.  PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Raymond Pani and Sandile Mbuthu have started KasiEcoWise to change local mindset about recycling. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Two young men from Nyanga are on a mission to make recycling fashionable by converting ordinary unused material into furniture.

Raymond Pani and Sandile Mbuthu, 23 and 24 respectively, have started an initiative called KasiEcoWise which they run from Pani’s White City home.

Acording to them, they recycle wood pellets and turn them into bed frames, coffee tables and even wine cellars.

They also said that they take old tyres and turn them into ottomans, seats and coffee tables. Their ideas, they say, started in January by collecting tyres and woods in the townships.

They said that they biggest motivation is ridding their area of rubbish by finding alternative use for it.

“Everywhere you look in our township there is always rubbish, with plenty of materials for recycling.

This has a negative impact on the ecosystem as this rubbish is killing the vegetation and the animals that rely on it.

This is why we call our project KasiEcoWise because we want to teach our community about the ecosystem and how it is negatively impacted by littering. We then offer a solution by taking this material and creating useful items for household use,” said Pani.

Their product is made to order.

“We have had a couple of orders and enquiries but we believe that there more people see our work the most likely they will be willing to purchase.

More than anything our biggest challenge is the mindset in our communities, people just doesn’t take recycling that seriously.

We usually get bad comments like we using rubbish and selling it back to people and we are conning them and other stuff,” he explained.

He said that through conversation they are managing to change mindsets and more people are curious about their products and they have started making orders.

“Our latest order is a wine cellar for a client in Khayelitsha we have started conceptualizing and designing it. We believe that the client will be very happy and the product will help influence those in his circles,” said Pani.

The two are not carpenters but they learn as they go and even managed to get some local boys to help in the building of their product. “We learn as we go, we do a lot of experimenting but the final product is always up to standard and our clients are happy,” said Mbuthu.

Mbuthu said that they are also working on opening their one of a kind carwash which will recycle water.

“In our communities car washes are notorious for water wastage and we know that there is a drought in certain parts of the country so we want to design a system that will save water.

The vehicle will be in a tub which will have different compartments and the water will be cleaned and dirty particles removed. In that way we will be able to save water, create work opportunities and make a difference,” said Mbuthu. The duo can be contacted on

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