Jobless South African Man Builds A Helicopter Using Recycled Material.
Vusimuzi Mbatha, 35, unemployed from Siza informal settlement near Rustenburg has done what seems to be the impossible to most Africans; he has built his own helicopter.
Mbatha, originally from Libode in the Eastern Cape, said he became fascinated with helicopters after seeing one during a strike on the platinum belt in the North West last year.
“I dreamt I was controlling a helicopter. That was in January last year, during the strike in the platinum mines. The dream continued and I decided to follow it. It was easy to build this helicopter because I have a vision of what I wanted to do,” he said.
Mbatha started to buy parts, bit by bit, and used scrap metal to build his helicopter.
The giant helicopter stands proud in front of his shack, attracting locals to take a look at the metal giant with a roaring engine.
Mbatha, who only went to school up to grade 7, said he was always interested in science but could not further his education due to financial constraints.
The helicopter sports a television set, a clock situated on the back of a seat, and a two way-radio. It has a green and red light on its tail that flashes at night. The helicopter is powered by petrol. The rotor hub is housed in an old soft drink crate.
The cockpit is also built out of soft drink crates. A fire extinguisher is located on the left side of the helicopter. The helicopter stands on a four-wheeled trolley built out of scrap metal.
The steering wheel is made from a PlayStation Control. There is also a clutch and an accelerator.
“The helicopter is incomplete, there are some parts that I have to put in. The challenge is the money. I am not working and I depend on odd jobs to build this helicopter.”
Locals flocked to Mbatha’s shack when the heard the roar of an engine.
“We are impressed. How he managed to build this is a miracle,” said Selobane James.
Mbatha came to Rustenburg ten years ago looking for a job in the mines but still remains unemployed.
They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Locals in Siza informal settlement have been blessed to note that indeed with hard work and perseverance, nothing is impossible.