Vusimuzi Mbatha: South African Man Builds Helicopter With Recycled Materials

Vusimuzi Mbatha is a 35 year old unemployed South African who had a dream and was determined to make it a reality.

According to him he has always dreamt of building and flying a helicopter. Vusi set out to work, gathering scrap metals for his creation and buying some other material as well. Gradually he gave life to his imagination.

“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”

Just like many other home-made tech inventors, Vusi did not acquire a University education. Report says that he stopped his education at Grade 7 because of financial constraints.

That regardless, the middle aged man did not give up on dreaming big.

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So how did he know what and what to put together to arrive at his creation? No information about that is given. But it will not be surprising if intuition was at play.

Catching the attention of South Africans, Vusi’s invention was aired by News24. Many found it stunning that with limited education, Vusi was able to build an aircraft.


Vusi has become a source of motivation and encouragement for his community, Sifa informal settlement.

“Nothing like this has ever happened in this area. Never before have we seen a flying machine and today, someone we know and live with is going to be flying in one”

Israel Mamomane praises his effort and calls Vusi a role model for bringing a sophisticated invention in their rural community,

“This man has brought growth to this community,”

“He might not be very educated but he showed us that when you have wisdom, you can go far.”

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Vusi’s creation did not only get the attention of the media and the people but also the Bidvest Protea Coin. The company’s representative met with Vusi at the location of his aircraft. There, he explained to them how he believes the helicopter can take off to the skies.

They gave the 35-year old inventor his own custom made uniform. Bidvest took Vusi on a 15-minute flight in their own chopper.

“My dreams have come true. I never thought it would happen for me. I feel liberated.”

Bidvest Protea Coin chief operations officer Waal de Waal inspected the helicopter on Vusi’s request and said though it was a brilliant creation it still needed more work to make it fly.

However the company offered to help him get a paying job which will go along way in making his dreams a reality. Likewise, well meaning South Africans made donations to support Vusimuzi Mbatha’s efforts.