Is it a piece of plastic or a piece of culture?
Did it matter? Now it does. Now it is a piece of culture.
Week Night English Football has the soundtrack of chanting British Louts singing their famous songs en masse & with impressive unison. Filled with sexism and swearing and repetition.
Port Elizabeth cricket has the soundtrack of that brass band. People the world round now know the St. George’s pitch simply by hearing some pop tune being enthusiastically percussion’ed out during sports hour.
Weekend Rugby has the soundtrack of some family member swearing at the television. COMEOOOOON REF!!! WTF ARE YOU ON ABOUT!!!!!! ARGHRGHGAGHHHHH WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO CATCH!!!
Saturday afternoon South African soccer/football has always had the soundtrack of that plastic one-note horn, which characterises a curling kudu horn, being blared at supporters & opponents alike...
South African soccer noise… fun emotional chaos epitomised. The vuvuzela being chaotically blown, to a crowd gone wild, and the commentators gone wilder, particularly with their regular LADUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMAs!
[Man, how I wish they’d get the World Cup commentators to get into the LADUUUUUUMA spirit as well! I am even doing my best to teach it to the oblivious “is it time for the footy yet?” Aussies].
This has been a weekly tv-room characteristic as family members watched with rapt attention as Kaizer Chiefs dominated everybody! (Ok, ok, I might be biased, they’re my team. I don’t follow many sports with regularity, but I always have a team to support!). I barely ever watched the soccer, but just from the noise in the background to my life, I knew what was going on, and I knew all was right and calm with my world.
It is silence that disturbs me. I did not grow up on that.
So it is amusing to step out of the noise & realise the unaccustomed folk might find it annoying. To me, it is just there. A Saturday afternoon soundtrack.
And THAT is what they mean by culture. If you want to experience soccer in South Africa, then you need to know, that is how it is experienced. With a BARP, colour, and chaos. And even a live chicken sometimes! HA HA.
Ex-colonisers & “superior” Developed Worlders, we realise that you think you are civilised, and that you would love us to be “civilised”, “controlled” and “emotionally dulled” too. We have listened, and even tried to understand and be like you. But now, in this very moment, over such an insignificant issue, is when you are given a perfect opportunity to understand what we’ve been saying. Why we keep asking for cultural understanding and why we keep saying you are not there yet.
It is more than appreciating our food styles, or giving our musicians an award at your ceremonies, or examining our cultural paraphernalia through a museum’ed lens. That to understand us and make us all equal, you have to give a little bit too. Be made uncomfortable. And to eventually decide you may as well learn how to appreciate something so different to what you know.
Allow yourself to be converted. And then you will start to realise why so many of us have heartstrings yanking us back to cultures of Africa. Passion colourfully valued, emotion blaringly displayed, and noise made chaotically fun and overthetop.
Cause we’re not listening this time. Our vuvuzelas are too loud for us to hear you! And we don’t need to listen to you (arguably that may be because our current coloniser, FIFA, says they like our unique noise).
We are equal by decree of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and just by our ability to blare into your tight-arsed noiseless emotionally-controlled rooms and heads!
Damn bluddy Africans. Always have to make a sing, dance and noise of everything!
... and don’t we love ourselves for it!!