Fanta-can Ferraris + Other Naija Re(up)Cycling Memories 

This week we’ve got a fantastic group of Naija Gen Z and millennial peeps ready to share their upcycling and recycling stories from childhood. From the titular Ferraris made from Fanta cans to the Ankara Couture shows to bracelets and necklaces made from old buttons, beads, and strings, it is a journey through the creative and eco-friendly minds of our Naija youth.


For me, it’s gotta be those old biscuit tins. My mum had a stash of those old Peak Milk tins and biscuits tins that we never threw away. We’d use them for everything! Pencil holders, mini sewing kits, and even toy storage. One time, I painted one with some leftover paint and used it as a drum for a school project. It looked kinda wack, but I was super proud of it. 

Kunle, 28 

PHOTO CREDIT: Peppermint Magazine 

So, growing up, my cousins and I had this thing where we’d turn our old Ankara fabrics into cool accessories. My aunty was a tailor, she would sew new clothes, and we’d collect the scraps to make headbands, bracelets, and even little bags. I think of it now as our own “Ankara Couture”. Everyone thought we were fashion icons, and we totally were! 

Ife, 25 

PHOTO CREDIT: Peppermint Magazine 

Oh, we were into bottle cap art. We’d collect caps from soda and beer bottles and create mosaics. My proudest piece was a Nigerian flag made entirely of bottle caps. Took ages, but it was worth it! 

Chike, 27 

My sisters and I would turn old cereal boxes into storage bins and organisers. We covered them in pretty wrapping paper and used them to store our school supplies. Our room was the most organised, hands down! Laughs. 

Zainab, 22 

PHOTO CREDIT: Craft E-corner Blog  

In my neighbourhood, we’d make our board games from recycled cardboard. Monopoly, Ludo, you name it! It was legendary.

Emeka, 25 

PHOTO CREDIT: Dragons N Caps Blog 

Back in the day, my cousins and I would turn old soda cans into mini cars. We’d race them in the backyard. My masterpiece was a Fanta-can Ferrari. I swear it was the fastest! If I could, I would make art pieces like that now and sell them online.

Tunde, 26 

PHOTO CREDIT: Overtake, Formerly RaceDepartment 

I was all about DIY jewellery. We used old buttons, beads, and strings to make bracelets and necklaces. My friends and I would swap them like they were currency. 

Fatima, 24 

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Hats Victoria 

We used to make footballs from old socks and plastic bags. We’d stuff the bags into the socks and wrap them up. They were surprisingly durable! We had epic matches with those homemade balls. 

Femi, 26 

PHOTO CREDIT: AfricaGoal.Com 


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