Michael Carnegie



K.E.L.P - Kelp Environmental Learning Project

In April 2008 I moved to Cape Town from Durban to work with my brother Adam. I became involved with the Shark centre as well as running KELP (Kelp Environmental Learning Project)

The project was designed by Adam to create jobs and awareness for conservation by making vuvuzelas out of kelp leading up to the 2010 world cup. The project provided opportunities to earn income by giving value to raw kelp and the plan was to develop workshops and a base through which to market the product which would continue after the world cup. Workers were taught skills needed to paint the vuvuzelas and were able to earn a living by this work.

The KEAG KELP Team - Mike, Lennox, Luyanda, Mike C, Xolani, Sipho and Sibongile

Workers also learned about kelp and conservation through the process of collecting raw kelp along the coastline.

We developed a KELP education programme where people visit the rock pools and beach to learn about marine life and the kelp forests and then return to the workshop to paint their own vuvuzelas.


We also developed vuvu designs for use in environmental education and to draw attention to wildlife issues. We designed a set of the endangered frogs of the Western Cape for CT Youth Environment School (YES) and Two Oceans Aquarium.

Rain frog

Endangered frogs
Poison dart frog

While Adam handled customers and finances it was my job to collect kelp, train the workers and run the workshop, develop new designs and develop an education programme.

The project was very popular with the media leading up to the 2010 world cup and we were having so much attention from the media that we could get little work done. We appeared a number of times on TV with various shows and in many newspaper articles.

The project began in Adam's garage. As the project grew we linked to KEAG (Kommetjie Environmental Awareness Group) where we worked as a project of KEAG based at Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie. We were able to receive very generous funding from Deutsch Bank and Cadiz and a great deal of very generous support and encouragement from a number of organizations including Lindie Buirski and the CT YES Programme

Blue headed lizzard

We were able to grow the project to a point where we had three workshops. One at KEAG, one at the Ocean View Handicapped centre and one at Streetwires in Cape Town. At this stage we had 25 staff members and were producing thousands of vuvuzelas of all descriptions.

  Earthchild Cape Point Outing - 5 June 2010 - World Environment Day
Spier Group Outings - 16 June 2010 and 28 June 2010
In memory of Pierre Surf School - Day 1&2
In memory of Pierre Surf school - Day 3

Highlights for me were being interviewed by CNN and successfully doing our education programme at the MCEN (Marine Coastal Educators Network) conference in January 2010 where it went down very well. Also doing the KELP programme for 50/50 environmental TV programme.

Arum lily frog

Following the 2010 Soccer World Cup the making of the kelp vuvuzelas as a social upliftment and commercial project ended. I am currently running the education programme as an independent programme that can be done at a variety of venues. I have linked this with the Marine Wilderness and Surfing environmental education programmes I have been developing.

More info can be seen on the Education programs page and by following the links on the side of the page.

Photos on the right by Sam Reinders