The 2011 Mzansi Magic Market Day was won by 12 year-old Alexander Patullo from Durban, who impressed the judges of the nationwide young entrepreneur competition by recycling old vinyl records and coke bottles in an unusual and profitable way.
Alexander can now boost his fledgling business with his R 20,000 cash prize money, compliments of M-Net’s Mzansi Magic, and the title of the most prominent young Mzansi Magic Market Day mini-mogul.
To receive top honours, Alexander competed against the four regional winners who were picked earlier this month among hundreds of creative entries at the respective Mzansi Magic Market Day events held in Cape Town, Gauteng, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.
According to M-Net’s CSI Manager, Palesa Xorile, the quality of entries across the country was extremely high. “The young entrepreneurs were tasked to use their imagination and skills to create new cost-effective products that would fly from the shelves. All the regional winners were strong contenders, but the attention to detail, craftsmanship and originality displayed by Alexander’s product made him score the most points.’
The winning products from all the regions were brought to Johannesburg where a panel of judges from different disciplines within the arts and crafts field debated passionately to determine the winner. Among the judges were art teachers, artists who create wares for a living, adult entrepreneurs and the organisers of Mzansi Magic Market Day.
Alexander painstakingly melted and painted old vinyl records to transform them into chic household items and used the bottoms of Coke bottles to make zipped jewellery boxes or purses.
The regional winners who gave Alexander a run for his money were:
- William Miller and his team from Cape Town. These practical young techno whizz kids invented a USB powered air-conditioner made out of a milk carton and using ice.
- Room 13, a group of young artists from Bloemfontein who made beautiful funky artworks from card board boxes and other recycled material.
- Saajidah Ismail from Johannesburg, who wowed the judges with her detailed origami art and framed origami.
- The Fishy Friends from Port Elizabeth, who even had a pre-marketing campaign and specially-designed business cards to market their eco-friendly, mobile fish ponds.