Chappies is a brand of South African chewing gum, sold by the piece on the counter of “kaffies” and “spaza shops”, what in the US would be called corner stores. Each piece of chappies is one and a half centimeter square, half a centimeter thick, like a little terracotta tile, and traditonally they are pink, violently fruit-flavoured and wrapped in a yellow wrapper like a little present. They use to be four for a penny, and were the only kind of chewing gum we were allowed. I suspect they’re considerably more expensive now, and they come in different flavours and colours. The inside of the chappies wrapper had trivia ‘did you know’ questions on it.
This is part of a mobile I bought from a shop in Grahamstown that specialises in recycled crafts – it’s a string of five cranes made of chappies wrappers in different colours, and it hangs from a shelf in my study. Yellow is the iconic chappies wrapper colour.