If you watched any of the 2009 Confederations Cup last year, you probably noticed a buzzing sound throughout the games. It sounds like someone kicked a beehive. And truth be told, if I were to personally walk up and kick a beehive, the result of that would probably be much more tolerable than what I am about to describe.
Part of the preparation for the World Cup involve the distribution of Vuvuzela’s. Vuvuzelas are the horns that you see in the photos here. You can purchase one for about $1.50. If you buy one in an actual store, as opposed to a street vendor, they frequently come with a pair of earplugs. And earplugs are badly needed.
Anytime you are in town, you will invariably run into someone blowing one of these things. Indoors, outdoors, it doesn’t really seem to matter. When I was at the Telkom office in the mall, you could barely hear the sales lady over the sound of people blowing these infernal inventions.
While the noise made by vuvuzelas is mind-numbing, the excitement in the air is contagious. I’ve always thought soccer players were kind of wimpy, a case only made stronger by my roommate in college, who played on the Faith soccer team. But even I’ve caught a case of Soccah Fevah. Think how exciting it would be if the Olympics were to be held within 2 hours of your hometown. This is how South Africans feel. And it is a fun atmosphere to be in.
Just this past Thursday the actual World Cup Champion’s Trophy was on display at the civic center in Welkom. Imagine a town of 400,000 soccer-crazed people. Add in 80% unemployment and the fact that most schools made this a field trip day, and you’ll begin to see how many people had time on their hands to pack into the center of town. The line to see the trophy was well over a mile long, wrapped around and around the civic center area. Most of the people waiting were decked out in their finest “Bafana Bafana” gear (that is what they call the national team). There were even people tailgating. The feeling was not restricted to any one demographic group. We saw blacks, whites, young, old, men, women. Everyone has Soccah Fevah.
Of course, you know that since vuvuzelas are so annoying, I had to purchase one for myself!