Let’s face it, football is the first word on every man’s lips these days, so it comes as no surprise that automakers will take advantage of this fact to attract buyers to their products. For example, Mini has revamped its Countryman model with the inspiration of the famous plastic-trumpet, the Makarapa - the top-football-item in South Africa.
And if you still prefer reading about cars instead watching football and have no idea what the heck a Makarapa is, then we will share our researched knowledge with you. A Makarapa, according to Wikipedia, is a hand-cut and hand painted hard hat worn by sports fans. Each hat is customized to represent the colors or emblems of the fan’s team or country. Its popularity is kind of like those drunken sports fans that have painted their faces with their team’s colors and while wearing their favorite jersey and rocking a big foam finger...except this is a little less ridiculous.
According to the press release, Makarapa literally translated means ‘Migrant Worker’ and gains its origin from the safety helmets worn by the migrant laborers working in the gold mines of Johannesburg. For Mini this can be translated into a unique and quirky extension of its owner’s individual personality. It is obvious that MINI would want to follow this style and create its own Makarapa-design in South Africa with their blue, green, and yellow hard hat sitting atop their Countryman (an ideal vehicle for this type of proud display).
Press release after the jump.
The MINI Countryman in its typical way of being wears the popular and individually created hardhat and mixes up with the soccer fans in South Africa. If you believed the Vuvuzela had been the craziest South African fan article, you were wrong! Next to the famous plastic-trumpet, the Makarapa is the top-football-item in South Africa.
For those not familiar with this design innovation, a Makarapa is a workman’s safety helmet that has been completely remodelled and customised according to the individual tastes of the football supporter wearing it. Each handcrafted, colourfully painted headdress is worn with pride and becomes an artwork in its own right.
Makarapa literally translated means ‘Migrant Worker’ and gains its origin from the safety helmets worn by the migrant labourers working in the gold mines of Johannesburg.
In short, the story goes that in 1979 – the year MINI turned 20 – Alfred Boloyi was in the stands watching a football match when a friend was hit on the head by a flying bottle. For protection, Alfred wore a workman’s helmet to the next game, which he painted in the colours of his team. The headgear was an instant hit.
From humble beginnings – just like MINI – the Makarapa has grown into a style institution: unique, quirky and an extension of its owner’s individual personality. The “true” combination of a crazy South African football style does not only consist of the much sought Vuvuzelas, indeed the exotically created Makarapas can be added. So it is obvious that MINI follows this style and creates its own Makarapa-design in South Africa.