Bongalong: The Brand for Legalisation of cannabis in South Africa
Bongalong is on a mission to change the way people perceive cannabis.
The Bongalong change
The past year or so I realised that if you want something to change, you must first change yourself. Once you do, things will just fall in place. One thing led to another, and the Universe provided me with the opportunity to launch South Africa’s first designer bong company: Bongalong. The goal of the company was to show people that Cannabis can be something amazing. To show them that Mary-Jane is actually a lady with class. The aim of a designer bong is to elevate the perceived social values of Cannabis in the South African community. Simply put: It can be an eye-opener if you bust a stoner, and his smoking tool doesn’t look like a doomsday device! Since the company has been founded, Bongalong climbed all ladders of society, showing that Cannabis culture is truly for everyone!
From here the brand was born. A brand that would assimilate my own personal ethics, moral values and beliefs.
I believe in quality – no bullshit products. If you buy something from me I expect that you will be happy with the product. If you are not, I expect you to contact me so I can sort it out. The idea that corporations are bigger than their clients, is disrespectful.
I believe in local production. There are so many reasons to make sure that we keep production of the things we use, inside our own economy. I believe that we are a country like no other and what we produce and buy should put back into our own communities.
I believe in fair trade. We all believe that slavery has ended, so why support large corporate companies that mass-produce at the expense of their workers, often worse off than slaves. We have the power as manufacturers and consumers to prevent mass exploitation of our fellow human beings across the globe.
Bongalong always pays its debts. Just because someone else isn’t paying it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t too!
Respect life and the happiness of others above all things, even your own triumph.
Never judge! Don’t even judge others who judge. Judgement will only taint your own soul.
Where it All started
On the 29th of August 2013, Bongalong™ was born – registered and trademarked. During this time I was finishing off a 3 year course in Industrial Design. From what I learned about how corporations use specific tools to get what they want, I realised that I could use these same techniques to try and do some good in the world. I also realised that using my skills to boost myself and my own ego would never lead to real happiness. I decided to apply my skills to do stuff that would benefit others.
I wanted to design a bong that smokes like a dream, looks like it belongs in a french wine botique and supports socially sound and sustainable practices. Of course there were quite a few things to do: Designing of graphics and a website, product development and implementation, packaging, strategising and all sorts of really corporate things… Eventually, Bongalong produced the “Naughty Vase”. Finally sales began, with the money made from this first designer item I could grow the company.
After some time selling these vases, it hit me, a designer bong could do more than just raise money and make people happy. I realised that by attracting those unfamiliar to cannabis culture by the beauty of the design, Bongalong could raise awareness: How could something so wonderful be part of a negative “DAGGA CULTURE”; how could a person who smokes everyday, produce something so amazing. I started using the brand to elevate the perceived value of Cannabis in our society.
Bongalong Today and Tomorrow
Since then, I have been spreading awareness and building the brand with the help of all you beautiful people! Also expanding on our core product range by including new designer items for your pleasure. Bongalong is now also going to festivals to set up a smoking lounge where people can chill in a safe and comfortable space, with the right tools to roll and smoke your favourite tobaccos! We even have a clean ice bong every 30 minutes (that I personally wash), to make sure there is always a fresh bong in the lounge. The time spent at these events, sober, is a great way to explore and gain a greater understanding of what it is that makes Cannabis culture such a beautiful thing; everyday it just keeps getting better and better.
Where to from here? There are many plans in the pipe-line, mostly about spreading awareness. First off, I am busy planning the next Bongalong event that will become a monthly tradition. These events will give you the opportunity to come and relax in a beautiful public area and meet others that share at least one thing: a love for Cannabis. Bongalong will also release videos and music videos in collaboration with the Blaze Ryders and Jed Nery.
This year will also see the release of Bongalong infographics on Cannabis that will appeal to people outside of the Cannabis culture. Info that will hopefully induce a couple of paradigm shifts…
And then the most important event, and the one I’m most looking forward to: The Cannabis march on the 3rd of May 2015! To join this march, contact me for more information.
After all said and done, the most important thing I do is the chronic invasion of people’s ideas! I will approach anyone, at any time (especially if they seem like they don’t relate to Cannabis smokers!). I then introduce myself as a respectful young man, dressed like a Boy Scout. Once I see them getting comfortable with me, I drop my question: “So, how do you feel about the legalisation of Cannabis in South Africa?” or ” Hoe voel oom/tannie oor die wettiging van dagga in ons land?” I do this 50-100 times a week, and have personally convinced at least a 100 people, that it should be legalised.
There are many people who have been struck by Smokey Jo! Keep an eye out, you might see him wondering around Cape Town…
The Global Trend
Globally, the process for the legalization of Cannabis is well under way. The USA has legalized Cannabis in the states of Colorado and Washington. Since then, many other states have followed suit with their petitions for legalization. In South America, Uruguay has legalized Cannabis and the results have been reported to be positive, other South American countries are currently pleading the UN to amend their drug policies. A large contingent of the UN is voicing a need for drug policy change inspiring many other countries to amend policies including China. And now, it’s happening here with the legalisation of cannabis in South Africa!
The winds of change in South Africa
In 2010 the www.Daggacouple.co.za appealed successfully to the South African Magistrates court, putting a stay on all possession and dealing charges at magistrates level until the constitutional court decision. In 2013, the legal battle was taken over by http://www.schindlers.co.za/, a large Johannesburg based law firm that is seeting up a form of “Dagga insurance” and is currently building the case that will be fought in the constitutional court. Mario Oriani-Ambrossini, a member of parliament from the IFP, came out in support of the legalisation of medical marijuana and proposed a new “Medical Innovation” bill. We believe that it is now time to stand together and openly share ideas.
What we do
Bongalong™ produces authentic, local, handmade designer Smokin’ vases and quality smoking accessories for connoisseurs and truth seekers. We sell and make products focussed on giving the user the best value for money and an exceptional experience. We advocate the decriminalization and legalisation of cannabis in South Africa and because we strongly believe in every persons right to use a god given plant we make a donation to the Cause for every Bongalong™ product sold. We do this to keep the legalisation flame alive, as the DaggaCouple who are fighting a legitimate legal battle for us all, need more help than you can imagine. we need to stand as one force, as one voice and as one people, if we want to make this positive change for us and future generations
We at Bongalong wish to provide a platform for all South Africans to play a role in the process of legalisation of cannabis in South Africa. We have partnered with important groups of people who have already been fighting the cause since 2008: The Dagga Couple, The Dagga Party, Below the lion and Norml.
We are the brand that will change social perceptions of Cannabis by putting it out there, forcing people to look at the issues to freely and publicly discuss the benefits of legalisation. We bring style and design to the cannabis market. Raising funds product by product, for the legal fight. Spreading the word through rallies, media events, social gatherings and community projects. Our brand is your brand and our pledge to you is locally produced, high quality products that are Proudly South African. Stylish, timeless and functional pieces with an exceptional blaze, something that will improve your experience. We create unique pieces that represents the cannabis culture with the respect it deserves, for the unique place it has had in the lives and cultures for thousands of years.
We appreciate all donations that assist us to achieve our vision towards the cause. Remember that each product you buy gives us the strength to be the driving force behind legalization. If you would like to show your support, please visit out online shop, purchase any of or products or donate to our cause.