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Meet Siyabonga Stengana

Turning dumpsites into beautiful places

Portrait of Siyabonga Stengana

”When you came here to the township two years ago, the first thing you saw was a burnt-out taxi,” Siya says about his Kasi Mbekweni. A lot has happened since then. Today, Mbekweni is certainly the most colourful township in all of South Africa.

”I have always been bothered by the illegal rubbish heaps, but they got much worse in the lockdown because the waste collection no longer came regularly. All of a sudden there was just rubbish everywhere.”

Siya wanted to show that the community could be very different. He rolled up his sleeves, found a few fellows and started cleaning up the biggest dumps first. But it didn’t stop at cleaning up. He built colourful planters and seating areas, transforming more than 40 former rubbish dumps into beautiful places to relax. Today, a trace of Siyabonga’s work can be found on almost every corner in Mbekweni.

”Where it is beautiful, no one dumps their rubbish anymore. People identify with these places and are proud to live here again. That makes me proud too!“. Along the way, he shows children how to recycle properly and creates environmental awareness. But that is not the only thing children can learn from him. Since last year, Siya has also started a skate academy and teaches children from Mbekweni how to inline skate. Check out the cool moves on his TikTok or Instagram channel.

Marlene from dooiy

We think Siya is an extraordinary and inspiring changemaker. It is impressive how he has turned a tough personal situation into a gift for his community. We are very happy that he is a community ambassador for dooiy.

How does he make all of this happen financially? “The transformation of all those places cost almost no money, because I used a lot of the rubbish I found for example for planters. I also ask the neighbourhood for donations of materials. I had time for these projects because I lost my job during the pandemic and it was hard to find a new one.” Currently, Siya earns his money by building furniture and hydrodipping shoes. Since he would like to transform many more places, he is looking for people who want to support him - with materials, donations or commitment.

You want to transform your Kasi, too?

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What is dooiy?

Screenshot of dooiy web app on a mobile device

On dooiy you find fun and easy hacks that make life easier. Just follow our simple step-by-step guides and create something for your home or community with little materials and tools. Want to start a business? dooiy might be the perfect starting point for you.

Chris from dooiy

You don‘ t have to be an expert to start making with dooiy. Just choose an easy hack and get going. After you made a few, I am sure that you will come up with your own ideas.


Who we are

dooiy is being developed by Hack Your Shack, a young non-profit organisation from Germany with a passionate team in Berlin and South Africa.

To fulfil our vision, we are looking for partners, volunteers, donors and people who spread the word.

Learn moreand become a partner

  • The dooiy project is supported by
  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Impact Factory