Moving right along…
There’s no doubt the Durban Stadium is amazing. Sirdan was there just a couple of weeks ago and took some great photos. (His mother and some siblings live in Durban.)
But what about the vuvuzelas? What do you think of them? My ex-student David Smith (now in the USA) posted this on Faceook.
…when Fifa president Sepp Blatter pulled the country’s name from the envelope last weekend, the sound of tens of thousands of "vuvuzelas", the elongated, trumpet-like noisemaker of choice for millions of soccer fans could be heard across the country.
Made from plastic and emitting a braying sound similar to that of an elephant, the vuvuzela over the last week has etched itself as a symbol of South African football.
It has become so popular since its introduction at stadiums in the late 1990s, that a major South African brewer took steps to register the design as a trademark to protect its inventor, Neil van Schalkwyk.
"The vuvuzela has really become a symbol of South African soccer," said Putco Mafani, communications manager for the hugely popular Kaizer Chiefs football club.
"It’s loud, proud and shows the passion that South African football fans have for the game," Mafani, who is widely credited for popularising the instrument, told AFP. Nobody is quite sure where the name "vuvuzela" comes from.
Mafani said he believed the name originated from township slang and meant "to shower somebody with music" or because it resembled a shower head.
Other theories suggest that the word vuvuzela could roughly be translated from Zulu simply as "making noise".
What is certain though is that its origins can be traced back to ancient times in Africa…
"There is an old African saying that goes like this: ‘The baboon is killed by a lot of noise’. We make as much noise as we can to confuse our opponents on the field," said Mafani.
"Remember this game is not like golf or tennis, where you are actively encouraged to keep quiet. This is a loud game."
Mfani said big plans for the instrument were in the pipeline.
"We are in negotiations at the momement to get the vuvuzela named as the official instrument for 2010," he told AFP.
Its manufacturers hoped that some 500 000 would be sold in South Africa by the time the World Cup comes around. Currently a vuvuzela retails for around R20.
One of David’s friends posted another story: Chief organizer: Trumpet ban possible.
South Africa’s World Cup organizing chief Danny Jordaan said Sunday there is a chance vuvuzelas may be banned from inside stadiums after numerous complaints, BBC News has reported.
“We can’t sleep at night because of the vuvuzelas. People start playing them from 6 a.m. We can’t hear one another out on the pitch because of them.”– France captain Patrice Evra
Asked whether he’d consider getting rid of the trumpets, he said: "If there are grounds to do so, yes. We did say that if any land on the pitch in anger we will take action."
France captain Patrice Evra has already blamed the noise generated by the vuvuzelas for his team’s poor showing in its opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay.
"We can’t sleep at night because of the vuvuzelas," Evra said. "People start playing them from 6 a.m. We can’t hear one another out on the pitch because of them."
Jordaan said organizers are doing everything possible.
"We’ve tried to get some order," Jordaan said. "We have asked for no vuvuzelas during national anthems or stadium announcements. It’s difficult, but we’re trying to manage the best we can."
What do you think?
Meanwhile, did you see this?
A TVNZ cameraman covering the Soccer World Cup in South Africa has had his hotel room burgled and more than $100,000 worth of equipment taken.
Tony George and One News reporter Donna-Marie Lever were having dinner at their FIFA-sanctioned hotel in Rustenburg, 170km northwest of Johannesburg, when the thieves broke in.
They jemmied open the door and cleaned out George’s room, taking more than $100,000 worth of television recording, editing and transmission equipment, a laptop, his clothes and passport…