Floyd Lebepe believes his matchstick stadium will thrill 2010 guests

Andrew Hlongwane

Andrew Hlongwane

The 2010 Soccer World Cup might be three years away, but its frenzy has hit South Africa.

Floyd Lebepe of Mmakau village in the North West has a novel way to welcome the international soccer tournament.

He has developed a model stadium using more than 500000 match sticks and 3500 matchboxes. He calls the model stadium Mzanzi.

Lebepe said he wanted to show the world that South Africa could do something better than any country in the world in welcoming the 2010 World Cup.

He said he approached local businesses to fund his project, but no one showed any interest until Sydney Mnisi agreed to fund the project.

"I wanted to design something that can prove that South Africa deserves the World Cup on behalf of the African continent. This stadium is unique because it has a shopping complex with a police station operating every day and providing employment opportunities to the local people," said Lebepe.

"The stadium 'accommodates' 100000 spectators. It has taken us two years to build the stadium. We want to show South Africa that if we can have 10 stadiums like this one, the country will be able to accommodate one million spectators."

Lebepe and Mnisi said they used only African products to build the stadium. They used match sticks, jacaranda tree bark, Mmakau canes, Swazi cane, Swazi rose wood, river sand, stones, platinum stones, glasses, carpets, glue and a torch. The 122 by 222 metre square stadium is displayed inside a back room shack.

Mnisi said he spent part of his salary to sponsor the project.

"I have spent R5000 buying the 3500 match boxes, carpets, glue, glasses, wood and other materials to make sure that this project becomes a success story," Mnisi said.