Who am I?Where am I?

17 June 2010


I am huge football/soccer fan. I love going to matches and watching on television. I am disgusted with the coverage of the World Cup because of the vuvuzela. Why I am disgusted may surprise you.

The beginning of my disgust started last year during the Confederations Cup when Japanese broadcasters complained about the use of the vuvuzela and how it was irritating their listeners. Sepp Blatter, quite correctly, stated that it was not up to the rest of the world to impose their sporting culture and traditions on another country. Fast-forward a year to the 2010 spectacle that is taking place on the shores of the African continent for the first time. What is the focus of the coverage? The vuvuzela.

Come on! The vuv
uzela is a tradition of South African football that is derived from the kudu horn, despite what CNN is reporting (since when is CNN an expert on South African culture? All they have to do is ask any South Africa who grew up in a village about the vuvuzela's origins). The kudu horn was used in villages throughout Southern Africa to summon villagers to a meeting. It is loud for a reason. If one looks closely at the pictures emanating from South Africa, iterspersed throughout the plastic vuvuzelas one might see an actual kudu horn. The tradition of blowing a vuvuzela at a football match stems from the desire of the fans of one team to beckon fellow supporters.

I have heard compla
ints that the vuvuzela drowns out singing. I have two responses to this: First, this singing is part and parcel of football culture mainly in Europe. Like the famous quote in the Wizard of Oz, "We aren't in Kansas anymore Dorothy." We aren't in Europe, so suck it up. Second, have you heard the "harmonizing"? Personally, I'm glad I can't hear some of this singing! Having experienced the vuvuzela noise at many football matches in South Africa including three in packed stadiums, I know what the noise level is like...and love it. I can feel a bit of ruth for fans in the stadium and understand why they leave with a headache and may complain a bit (though I question whether or not these fans regularly attended football matches before the World Cup.) What I do not understand is the complaints of fans who are watching on television. Turn the sound down or deal with it. This is the World Cup. It will all be over in a month. It will not return to South Africa during our lifetimes. Suck it up and enjoy the spectacle for what it is...an African event and a South(ern) African one in particular. At the next World Cup, the detractors can complain about South Americans setting off flares, but until then, let South(ern) Africans enjoy their time on the global stage and show you how they celebrate their football.

**By the way, as I'm writing this, I am watching a replay of Zimbabwe's recent triangular one-day international series (cricket). Zimbabwe supporters, and this was before the World Cup began, are dancing in the stand to drums and blowing their vuvuzelas.


Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, some tv networks in my country are selling more tv packages under the pretense that their remotes have an option to remove the sound of the vuvuzelas...
So, there is hope for some!

Anonymous said...

....ok so blow my Vuvusela then...lol

Nathalie said...

I think it's a bit disturbing once you turn on the TV and you hear the sounds just like flies mumbling.If I can feel like that ,what about the referee who might not get concentrated and get nervous.To my mind, it should be banned while the match is on..celebration will be much more happier!!!

Hope to have that tv that can remove the sound..mmmmmmmmmm!!lol!!

Ciru said...

I especially loved this article...I guess should this have been somewhere in "europe or the like", then there would have been no problem....everyone in nairobi bought them and enjoyed blowing them in various clubs as they cheered their favourite team....I did not understand what the fuss was all about, everybody everywhere have their own way of doing things and it would be nice for the "west" to appreciate AFRICA and its way of doing things. Richie, this was a great article with its true spirit. Ciru M.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich. I just managed to read your blog today and even though the world cup is over, i just had to share my comment. I completely agree with you. I am from Africa and i did manage to watch afew games live and i have to say that the vuvuzela is amasing. If you are at the stadium watching the game live than it does sound extremely loud, but like all things in life, there is a cure- earplugs!! They work wonders. The african spirit was incredible. And the world cup was a success despite all the negetive things that were said against South Africa. And what's even more interesting is the fact that majority of the people blowing vuvuzela's at the games werent even South African.

Anonymous said...

The world cup of soccer 2010 in South Sfrica remains one of the most historical time in Africa. I loved the vuvuzelas it was amazing and original I would like to have mine at home. I met some friends in other countries in Europe who bought their vuvuzelas. They were playing them even after the world cup. Anyway! It was a good time! Waka Waka this time for Africa!!!