It is now fifty five days to the opening of the 2010 soccer world cup in South Africa. And despite all the doom and gloom all the stadiums are ready. So for all those intending to come to watch the games it might be the right time getting some insight in some South Africa soccer specifics. (And for those watching via TV in good old Europe maybe even more, since I don’t know to what extend the specifics will be transferred, or whether an aseptic FIFA event will be broadcasted.)
Let’s start with Bafana Bafana – the nickname of the South African team, which means “The Boys”
Vuvuzela – a plastic, a metre long, brightly coloured and sounds like an elephant – it is the noise-making trumpet of South African football fans, and it’s come to symbolise the sport in the country. FIFA was about to ban the Vuvuzela, luckily they didn’t – otherwise the games would not have been games in South Africa. Of course even if only a third of the 95000 capacity of Soccer City would blow the Vuvuzela, it wouldn’t be chamber music. San Siro in Milan has been famous for it’s sound especially at derbies and key games – I only heard it from outside the stadium and rather far away -, so will be 2010 games for the Vuvuzela sound. A single Vuvuzela sounds like an elephant, but en masse the sound is more like a massive swarm of very angry bees. (As soon as I have practiced that I can elicit a tone, I’ll give some advice – stay tuned)
The Makarapa – the modified, decorated miners’ helmet unique to South African soccer fans. A South African soccer fan will spend hours adorning his Makarapa with the logo and colors of his team, images of a favorite player, and words describing the imminent downfall of the opposition. With 2010 a small industry has been initiated in the communities producing Makarapas in the colors of the participating nations, each a unique piece of sculptured artwork.
“Diski” is township slang for football. South Africa was not Africa if the rhythm of African football would not have been adopted to express energy and passion of 2010. So Diski Dance got invented. This jive translates the sport’s moves into dance. Move over Makarena and moon walk, and create a new trend at your favorite dance floor. (Stay tuned for details on that jive)