Monday, July 12, 2010

Vuvuzelas: Penetrating World soccer Fandom

The 2010 World Cup – first ever in the continent of Africa, is now history. While South Africa’s (host nation) team failed to make it out of the first round, its World Cup established that these things signify a nation’s soccer fandom and are called vuvuzelas, everywhere, from now on – period. Thanks to it haters everyone galvanized. It has proliferated in a range of ring tones and smart-phones apps.

By Yemti Harry Ndienla

I wouldn’t bother to describe or explain what, or how this thing looks like. However, nobody would attempt to disagree here that the plastic horns were a major subplot of the month-long (June, 11 – July, 11) World soccer jamboree which ended last Sunday, with Spain, beating Netherlands, 1-0, to grasp the trophy.

The Vuvuzela became a star, through the spectacle, the emotion, coupled with persistent low-grade background hum, even before the end of the first week of the tournament. “Vuvuzelas are a cultural phenomenon for our country and for football,” said a South African World Cup organizer.

While describing the Vuvuzela, as “a must have item”, The National Post of Canada, revealed that one South African maker of the horns sold about a million of them ($ 2.50 each) before matches got started. The Vuvuzelas, described by Rob Walker, as “simple, slightly silly, mass – produced noisemaker/instrument” became highly unlikely symbol of cultural meaning, at an event famous for national grudges with intricate histories, playing out before an expected record worldwide audience.

Despite the fact that players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, including some TV viewers grumbled about the instrument, describing its sound as swarming – insect sound, FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, Twitted; “I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound”. The president of the world soccer governing body responded further to critiques of the vuvuzela, "we should not try to Europeanise an African World Cup ... that is what African and South Africa football is all about — noise, excitement, dancing, shouting and enjoyment”. And his timely twits, shut up rumors of a Vuvuzela ban. Yes, from those who concluded that the spread of diseases by means of vuvuzelas was possible, that the vuvuzelas have the potential to cause noise-induced hearing loss, amongst others.

The Sydney Morning Herald quotes a German fan saying, “I love it. I can see it catching on at games in Europe”. Meanwhile, Rob Walker, in an article in the New York Times, writes, on the vuvuzelas – “in the US, they have already been given out at as a Florida Marlins game promotion.

FIFA had give blessing to their (vuvuzelas) use in stadiums during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, and 2010 FIFA World Cup, despite previous criticism by haters of this African symbol. Yes, The Vuvuzelas, Can!

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