The Vuvuzela is a plastic, meter-long, brightly painted horn that can produce an elephant-like sound. It’s one of the iconic tools for South African football fans and has produced a symbolic representation of the country.
Yes, the Vuvuzela is an instrument, but not exactly one that produces aural bliss. Describing the atmosphere in a stadium filled with thousands of football fanatics blowing their plastic horn are difficult to describe. Up close, the sound may resemble and elephant, but once accumulated, the sound produced mimics a massive swarm of bees.
Despite being a simple and straightforward instrument, the Vuvuzela requires a degree of lip flexibility and fairly strong lungs. A certain technique can get this thing going, so it is important that one practice before attending a South African football match.
Many believe that the ancestor of the Vuvuzela is the kudu horn—ixilongo in isiXhosa, mhalamhala in Tshivenda—blown to summon African villagers to meetings.
The trumpet became so popular at football matches during the late 1990’s that a company, Masincedane Sport, was formed in 2001 to mass produce the Vuvuzela. Made of plastic, they come in a variety of hues and colors that correspond with certain South African football clubs.
The uncertainty about the origin of the word ‘Vuvuzela’ remains unknown. Some say that it comes from the isiZulu for ‘making noise’ while some say it’s from township slang related to the word ‘shower’ because it showers people with music.
When the announcement on May 15, 2004, pointed out that South Africa would host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the entire country exploded with joy. Meanwhile, it also gave the Vuvuzela an opportunity to claim the spotlight and experience a huge boost. During the tournament, 20,000 were sold within a day by enterprising street vendors.
It definitely is a noisy instrument and one that doesn’t exactly capture the fancy of individuals watching around the globe. This is no online gaming incentive much like the bonus offerings of Royal Vegas Casino that anyone can easily revel in. A famous journalist once quipped that he had taken to watching the matches at home due to the incredibly annoying sound produced by the instrument. In addition to this, he described it as ‘an instrument of hell’.
Furthermore, the instrument even faced a banning from local stadiums, as they were seen as potential threats for hooligans and could be used in ambush marketing. Thankfully, local football authorities argued that the instrument was part of the whole South African football experience. This meant that locals, foreigners, and players get to endeavor through games and thrills alongside authentic South African football traditions.