As I watch the world cup games I cannot hide my African pride! I am sufficiently grinning for 3 people I tell you! In fact I’ve been beaming like this ever since the opening ceremony last Friday. Part of me, I have to admit, remembers all those doubters who thought all those stadia and the infrastructure wouldn’t be ready in time. Imagine they were actively planning for an Australian World Cup ‘just in case’? Tsk! We showed ‘em didn’t we?! You can tell this World Cup isn’t just a South African World Cup to me. This is an African World Cup as far as I am concerned and I’m sure there are some who concur with me.
This now brings me to my main point – There were discussions surrounding the use of the vuvuzela in general. The question was asked whether the infamous vuvuzela should be banned from the actual games. If FIFA president Sepp Blatter called me and asked what I thought, my simple answer would emphatically be NO! In Zimbabwe for example, we sing songs and dance at football/soccer games. We have accepted that the South African culture is different as is the Nigerian or the Ivorian. We abide by their cultural norms when visiting South Africa, Nigeria or the Ivory Coast. This I feel is commonly known as respect or as they say – ‘when in Rome…’ I feel that the rest of the football teams and the respective visitors should do the same; after all we would have to honour their traditions had the games been staged anywhere else. These are the kind of aspects that FIFA in my eyes, should have analysed and researched before awarding the games to South Africa that very day on the 15th May 2004. Questions like: –
- What does the typical football or soccer fan do in South Africa whilst watching games?
- Is their behaviour seen to comply with what FIFA deems as normal football behaviour?
I could list a number of questions but for the purposes of this entry, we’ll leave it there and I’m sure you understand the angle I’ve taken here. When the news initially broke out about this I wondered if common sense would in fact prevail. I was curious to see if FIFA would actually bow down to pressure and be seen as dictating the rules of engagement on African soil. A part of me wonders how much of the decision was made taking into account how this might look to the wider community given our history and so forth.
However my only concern is for what I regard as unnecessary use of the vuvuzela. By unnecessary I am referring to the 6am vuvuzela use when others are clearly trying to catch an extra 5 minutes of sleep before work. I cannot confirm this but I’m sure vuvuzelas have been taken everywhere from the braai at Tsano’s house, to the club and other such celebratory functions. Let us all remember that there is a time and place for the vuvuzela – let us at least agree on that. I kindly urge us all to be considerate and remember that there are others in the community who may not share our enthusiasm for the game or indeed the infamous vuvuzela, especially at 6am when others are clearly trying to catch an extra 5 minutes of sleep before work.