Definitions of Vuvuzela: The farangi dictionary!
1. An object whose potential noise experience at the FIFA World Cup 2010 will always be missed by David Beckham, Ronaldinho, Michael Ballack, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Essien.
2. A stadium horn devised to produce ultrasonic waves as well as shock waves which shall now be the national election symbol of all African politicians.
3. A gift which every European is destined to present to his African friend, on the next Thanksgiving Day!
4. The cure for healing hearing disorders and choked ears, produced as a result of an extensive African teen-age medical research!
*Not to forget the complaints from Europe and others
During the FIFA World Cup 2010 and other tournaments played earlier in South Africa, many competitors have criticised and complained about the noise caused by the vuvuzela horns, including France’s Patrice Evra who blamed the horns for the team’s poor performance. Other critics include Lionel Messi who complained that the sound of the vuvuzelas hampered communication among players on the pitch, and broadcasting companies, who complained that commentators’ voices were being drowned out by the sound. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo went on record to state that the sound of the vuvuzelas disturbed the teams’ concentration.
In 2005, prominent South African columnist and former sportswriter, Jon Qwelane, described the vuvuzela as “an instrument from hell” that had caused him to abandon watching live games, and urged that it be banned before the 2010 World Cup. The world football governing body, FIFA, expressed concerns that hooligans could use the instrument as a weapon and that businesses could place advertisements on vuvuzelas, in violation of FIFA regulations.
Some commentators have defended the vuvuzela as being an integral and unique part of South African football culture and say it adds to the atmosphere of the game. BBC sports commentator Farayi Mungazi said the sound of the horn was the “recognised sound of football in South Africa” and is “absolutely essential for an authentic South African footballing experience”. He also said there was no point in taking the world cup to Africa and then “trying to give it a European feel”. The Daily Telegraph‘s chief sports reporter Paul Kelso described critics of the vuvuzela as “killjoys” and said they should “stop moaning”.
In response to criticism of the horn’s use, President of FIFA Sepp Blatter commented, “I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound. I don’t see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country. Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country? We should not try to Europeanise an African World Cup.”
Not to forget, broadcasters have considered filtering the sound out of their broadcasts. All because of this monster, vuvuzela! Better call it, the vuvu-’zilla’!
Farrukh Zafar blogs at FarrukhUnplugged
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.