It's confirmed, all African teams except Ghana (at the time of going to press) have been eliminated from the FIFA 2010 World Cup finals, dashing any hope that the cup will for the first time be won by an African team. This also proves that soccer legend Pele's prediction that Africa will lift the prestigious world cup by 2010 was just a mere dream that never materialised.
But, I believe Pele had a vision in that realistically speaking, there is nothing that was supposed to stop us from getting the cup. Look at teams like Ivory Coast for example, their best 11 and even substitutes comprises world class players who play in elite leagues through out the world.
We have the talent, we have the skill, but what is wrong with us. My heart bleeds whenever I discuss the issue of us being outclassed on our land. Besides having home advantage, we had another supporter, the vuvuzela, which in most cases unsettled our opponents but we failed to utilize the advantage. We were more timid in front of the goal. We couldn't just score.
Talking of vuvuzelas, they have caused a stir, not only in South Africa but their impact has been felt through out the world. This plastic made instrument has taken the world by storm and with the look of things this it is here to stay and will be a common feature in soccer matches through out the world.
Though the origins of the vuvuzela, plastic blowing horn that produces a loud annoying sound, remains shrouded, it was traditionally made and inspired from a kudu horn. The vuvuzela was used to summon distant villagers to attend community gatherings. The vuvuzela is most used at soccer matches in South Africa, and it has become a symbol of South African soccer as the stadiums are filled with its loud and raucous sound that reflects the exhilaration of supporters.
But, the intensity of the sound caught the attention of the global soccer community during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in anticipation of South Africa hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Its effects continued again this year. Broadcasting organisations, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Entertainment Sports Programming Network (ESPN), experienced difficulties hearing the commentators' voices as they were drowned by the sound.
The vuvuzelas were also said to have raised health and safety concerns. Competitors believed the incessant noise hampered the ability of the players to get their rest, and degraded the quality of team performance. Other critics remarked that the vuvuzelas caused the degradation of team communication and concentration during matches. Demand for earplugs to protect from hearing loss during the World Cup outstripped supply, with many pharmacies running out of stock. A vuvuzela manufacturer began selling earplugs to spectators.
This saw some people advocating for the ban of the instrument at the competitions, but FIFA remained adamant. So the vuvuzela is there to stay. This shows how this instrument has rocked the world. But, with all this publicity and controversy, the instrument has been a darling for many with many football lovers buying them in bulk to give them to friends and relatives at home.
And, in the near future, it won't be surprising to come across people named after the instrument. Imagine coming across someone and upon inquiring about his name, he tells you that I am Vuvuzela Johns. Strange though it might look but I bet my last cent that somewhere somehow, we are going to end up having people with such names.
I laughed my lungs out recently when someone told me an interesting story said to have occurred here in Dar es Salaam. A man from one of the city's poshy suburbs is said to have bought a big flat screen television set, an LCD to be precise, in preparation for the world cup. He had planned to watch all the matches in the comfort of his home, without disturbances from other people after he had had a nasty experience during the final match of the Champions League.
What makes the story interesting is that the guy bragged, informing most of his friends he hangs around with at his favourite drinking point that he bought a good television set for the world cup. He even invited the friends to come and watch matches with him at home.
When the WC matches began two weeks ago, the guy is said to have watched the first two to three matches at home. His friends were surprised to see him; barely after two days the matches had begun, entering the bar to watch matches.
One curious friend of his asked him why he was watching in the club and wanted to know what had happened to the big screen he had bought. Most of his friends expected him to say that maybe it had developed a technical fault, power cuts, or that thieves had stolen it. But, the guy replied that: “I have no choice but to come here because at home, I can't watch the matches peacefully because there is a vuvuzela”.
This left many confused and they demanded explanation, and he told them that I have a vuvuzela in the form of my wife; she makes a lot of noise, disturbing me. He said it was difficult to concentrate as the wife needed attention and made sure that she got it.
So, dear reader, that is how far the issue of vuvuzelas has gone. Some husbands are now giving names to their wives because they believe that they are loud mouthed. I don't know what you think but I feel that there are some people who are just too loud for comfort.
To tell the truth, there are some people who were gifted when it comes to them using their voices. I believe we have so many vuvuzelas in our homes and some of them are even proud of that. Where I stay, we have our next door neighbours I think they fit into such a category. A day hardily passes by without one or two of the notorious women being involved in a heated argument with someone, over petty issues.
These people don't care that their raised voices disturb other people's peace and in fact, they seem to enjoy it. If other neighbours try to intervene, telling them that they are making noise while urging them to lower their voices, this will be tantamount to adding salt to an injury. They go on to raise their voices even more higher. These are the vuvuzelas for you.
I have come across some men complaining that their wives talk too much. These are the same people who go on to name their wives vuvuzelas, but I remember pointing out sometime back in this column that, during tournaments such as the World Cup, many women have no choice but to compete for attention with a lifeless, television set.
They are reduced to mere widows while their husbands are alive. For those who make noise deliberately to disturb the peace of others there is no justification, but I believe if a woman does it to get the attention she has lost, then I don't see anything wrong with that.
If we are gifted with the gift of talking, let's put filters on our natural vuvuzelas so that we can make this country a better place for everyone. May God Bless you.