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South Africa holds competition to reinvent the vuvuzela

Though the FIFA soccer tournament has come to a close, it seems that South African citizens aren’t finished with the vuvuzela – the horn that was wildly popular around the world during the event. According to the BBC, a man named Jono Swanepoel has organized a competition calling for new uses for the beloved instrument.

Designers and innovators are encouraged to send in their ideas and outlines of new uses for the horns. So far, people have submitted re-imaginings of the horn as a chandelier, lap shade, table stand and even a bird food dispenser.

“We’ve seen quite a few entries of hearing aids, things to magnify the sound on your cellphone if you put it on a speaker phone,” Swanepoel told the news source.

He added that the lamp shades could be useful in some of the poorer communities in South Africa. In such neighborhoods, many people depend on family members living and working abroad who are able to send an international money transfer to help pay for various necessities, such as medical supplies or furnishings.

The top 10 reinventions will win a prize of approximately $1,460 dollars. The design will be given to local manufacturers will will receive all proceeds from the redesigned horn, according to the news source.

The vuvuzela is an important part of contemporary South African culture. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, many notable South Africans, including Nelson Mandela, have tooted the horn.


Report: Africans who receive remittances are more educated

A report conducted by the Fund for Agricultural Development shows that there are significant differences between African citizens who receive money from loved ones working abroad and those who don’t.

The report, titled Sending Money Home to Africa, shows that those who receive funds spend more time in the classroom. The majority of recipients have at least a high school degree, and a larger portion of those who receive remittances go on to college, compared to those who don’t.

Recipients of money from abroad are also more likely to have a cellphone. Approximately 88 percent of remittance receivers owned a mobile phone, compared to 76 percent of non-receivers.

Remittances also contributed to the amount of savings African citizens have. Those who receive money are more likely to have larger savings, and are also more likely to have a relationship with a financial institution.

According to the World Bank, immigrants living in the U.S. sent $46 billion dollars in remittances in 2008, the most from any country. Those who are sending money home should be sure to protect their funds by using a secure online transfer service.