Have you been watching the Confederations Cup from South Africa?
So far, so good.
A great game yesterday between African champions Egypt against Brazil, which ended on a controversial penalty called by English referee Howard Webb. 4-3 was the final score for Brazil but the Egyptians have nothing to be ashamed about.
My home country, the United States, was blasted by reigning World Champions Italy, 3-1.
It wasn't even that close, especially when the US went down to 10 men. Back to the drawing board and another tough match against the Brazilians.
The Confederations Cup is going along smoothly. But this isn't what this post is about.
This post is about the vuvuzela, the trumpet brandished by South African fans at the games.
I'm saying right here and right now: It has to go!
I mean this with all respect to South Africa and it's culture. I'm sure the vuvuzela is a huge part of their sporting culture.
Here, take a look at this video. The vuvuzela sounds so nice in it!
The vuvuzela is an important part of South African football culture, as this passage here indicates ...
In this advertisement for the Confederations Cup, the vuvuzela takes center stage, calling all Africans to make their way to South Africa and enjoy the matches.
BRIGHTLY coloured, plastic, a metre long and weighing about 100 grams, the trumpeting vuvuzela is the sound of football in South Africa.
Some say its history goes way back in time - long before football was the country’s most popular sport. The first vuvuzela, it is said, was the kudu horn used to call African villagers to community meetings ...Made of plastic, they come in a variety of colours - the standard primary red, blue and yellow, with a smattering of green too. But the most popular are those in club colours: black or white for fans of Orlando Pirates, yellow for Kaizer Chiefs, and so on.
And the sound? An elephant, a swarm of angry bees, a fog horn - whatever it is, it is loud. When there's action near the goal mouth, it is something to behold; a sound you are unlikely to forget in a hurry.
The cacophony gets louder and more frantic towards the end of the game ...
"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."
Unfortunately, this sound is what we often get from matches ...
I'm here to say: PLEASE STOP!!
The noise is maddening! It's like a swarm of bees, living in my head! The sound doesn't go away. I watch the match for a few hours, then go off to cook dinner and what do I hear? The vuvuzela!
I'm dozing off after a long day and what do I hear? The vuvuzela!!
I wake up and take a shower, drink my morning coffee and start working and what do I hear? THE VUVUZELA!!!
Ok, I'm exaggerating ... but really, what do we do about these instruments?
South Africans, what's your experience with the vuvuzela?
Let us know!