Who Are The Loudest Football Fans In The World The Origins of the Vuvuzela

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The Origins of the Vuvuzela

The Vuvuzela has recently been the focus of international discussions; it became an addition to the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa. But the origin of the loud, long siren is a matter of controversy. Its origin is often disputed because it is difficult to determine the point at which the horn was introduced, but there are several parties who claim to have found it.

The world vuvuzela itself is disputed as some claim it derives from a Zulu word meaning “to make noise”, while others claim it derives from a municipal slang phrase meaning “to shower”. It is not known whether this origin involves showering people with noise or perhaps using a part of the shower as an instrument.

Some believe the instrument is a variation of the Kudu horn used in battle and worship by various African tribes. If true, the instrument would date back hundreds or even thousands of years, deeply rooted in African culture, but so far it is not considered credible because there is no evidence.

Another claim comes from the Nazareth Baptist Church in South Africa who claim that they invented the instrument and that it has been used in their worship as a sacred instrument since the early 20th century. Their claim has been disputed, because although the horn has been actively used and recognized in South African football for several decades, they only raised the issue in early 2010. They argue that as a sacred instrument used in worship, it should not be allowed to be used in sports. events without religious significance. Church leaders have threatened legal action against FIFA chiefs to stop fans playing the instrument during matches.

South African football fan Freddie Maake claims to have invented the instrument in 1965 when he adapted a bicycle horn, later making a longer aluminum version which he wore to many local matches and international events. Maake has his pictures from the 1970s to back up his claim and even took them to the 1998 World Cup in France. There is no doubt that he was using the vuvuzela horn as early as 1970, but there is still no hard evidence to support the claim that he invented it. The exact same horn was recorded as being used at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, a country Maake never visited, but the instruments directly resemble that of his 1965 aluminum creation.

Former professional footballer Neil van Schalkwyk saw an opportunity to make money when his company Masincedane Sports patented the design of a plastic version of the trumpet to sell to local football fans, but had no idea it would be as popular as it has been. So far, Masincedane Sports has sold over 600,000 vuvuzelas, of which 100,000 were in the first week of the 2010 World Cup.

The horn’s infamously loud drone has proved unpopular with many away football fans in South Africa, and even more so with television viewers around the world. FIFA officials have yet to implement any rules on the use of the instrument, but FIFA CEO Dr. Danny Jordan stated that “in 2010, to be the loudest World Cup ever; South Africa hopes that the Vuvuzela will be recognized as a unique part of what will be a very special African World Cup celebration.” Time will tell if the instruments will be used in other countries, but international vuvuzela sales are in the millions, and only a few clubs and stadiums suggests banning it at future events.

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