Definitions of Vuvuzela: The farangi dictionary!

Published: June 23, 2010

While some call it "an instrument of hell" others say the vuvuzela is "absolutely essential for an authentic South African footballing experience."



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

Farrukh Zafar

Farrukh Zafar

The founder of, who also authors in his spare time.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hamza Ali

    “A gift which every European is destined to present to his African friend, on the next Thanksgiving Day!”

    Rolling on the floor laughing! You whacked it back at them! :DRecommend

  • Ash

    Hilarious! :D I so loved it! :DRecommend

  • Tehniat

    That was side-splitting-ly hilarious! hahahahah!Recommend

  • Spak

    Good one ..

    As for me, vu·vu·zela is “An object which has turned Rooney’s face into tomato and all the English fans to cry” .. What a mediocre team!

    It is also an object which caused Anelka to verbally abused his coach..

    Kaka got a red card against Ivory Coast because he wanted to use Vuvuzela ..

    I can go on and on about it!

    Europeans do not know how to have fun, they seem to live in their own bubble!Recommend

  • Tehniat

    C’mon now! Rooney is a good player!Recommend

  • Tehniat

    Don;t say anything to him :DRecommend

  • Farrukh Zafar

    Thanks for the praise, all of you! It was indeed an attempt to laugh at the instrument actually and the chemistry that surrounds it! :D So the Europens had to come in between the slogging words! :D
    It’s ridiculous how a mere lifeless object, a non-living thing – is making such a huge impact to the grand tournament – the WORLD CUP!

    @Spak: very well said! I feel weird for the English side too! They say, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”! Rephrase it to: “Too many great players spoil the whole team’s performance!” :DRecommend

  • Spak

    Tehniat, Oh he is, isn’t he? He hasn’t scored for 8 consecutive games! He is a mind-blowing player .. He can blow goalkeepers’ mind with his eyes!

    Farrukh, Right on! English football team is like Indian Cricket Team .. since IPL is becoming more and more like EPL!Recommend

  • Farrukh Zafar

    Rooney!? Duh! We was sent out in a substitution tonight just because he was too much frustrated on the field and the way he was reacting, could have either killed a player or the referee! The coach and manager were fearing a red card for him! <— Just a joke! :P

    But but but… We must not forget the new name: "Rooney – the Cry Baby!" :DRecommend

  • Slumber Jack

    Vuvuzelas are instruments from hell! When big players like Messi and Ronaldo have criticized it, then it really is something bad! It’s not about Europe, losers!Recommend

  • Spak

    Slumber Jack, Yes and Eto has criticized La Liga after the fans were calling him ‘monkey’

    At least Vuvuzela is not being racist!

    Anyways why are you crying? Did your team go out?Recommend

  • Sameer

    There was a complete paradigm shift in the read at the end of the definitions! :D Good post!Recommend

  • Cemetry Gates

    Sepp Blatter did the right thing by not banning the vuvuzela! Vuvuzelas FTW!Recommend

  • dribbler!

    Jon Qwelane is right I reckon. Things have never been the same ever since the Africans embraced this vuvuzela! Last year I was in Africa for the Confederations cup, they almost killed me.Recommend