I’m afraid I don’t speak Vuvuzela

Yellow is not a colour in my wardrobe, and as South Africa falls into a Fifa swoon I do my best to pretend that none of this is happening, that I am not really here. If I am forced to admit that I am, then I am indifferent and untouched.

This is not true. I am uneasy, angry and fearful.  No resistance has been mounted to colonisation by FIFA, who appear to control our banks, our television sets and our minds. I am convinced that we are being hypnotised by the television.  I go out onto the street and I see yellow M’s swimming through the irises of the game sated.

Marketing gurus and tax consultants are applying rational statistical analysis to measure irrational concepts like national unity and optimism. They say that 30 days of national euphoria can change a country forever. They speak about rebranding the country as a spinoff – in the absence of any tangible benefits.

I know that anything is possible, if enough people believe it, but I refuse to wallow in the national love puddle.  I am keeping a wary eye on reports of  long planned racist conspiracies and fat arms caches, all part of a right wing plot to disrupt the games and any notion that Africa can host events of this scale.

At least in Woodstock, the inner-city mixed-up zone I call home, the flags being flown (we have no cars to adorn with our nationality) on houses, children and chests,  are a curious mix of detachment and love of the game. A retired 27-gang general supports the French (for their style) and members of the JFK ( Junky Funky Kids)  sportingly love Portugal, America and England.

Somehow the Woodstock underworld, maybe because they’re chemically wired to be  immune to brainwash, remain as ever, fractured and present. Even they are taken by the idea that this is “a once in a lifetime experience” that we can use  to affect some kind of fundamental change in our national psyche. After this, Captain says, there won’t be race, you won’t be seen as white anymore.  I remain cynical: I’ll still be a moegoe, I say, and every time you take a crap, it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

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5 Responses to I’m afraid I don’t speak Vuvuzela

  1. Boy dont we need something that will change the psyche of kenyans…….wish we could host a world cup…without the ‘cup’ being stolen…..

  2. All over Nairobi talk is of match fixing and that this is the true sport of the Fifa world cup. I must say, and I am much less cyncial now that the real soccer magic begins) that there were a tremendous amount of great opportunities squandered. Or can we blame that on other random factors, like nerves, the Vuvu or the weather?

    Nicole Turner
  3. Fick Fufa and Mafifia are the t-shirts of the day. But hey, at least the visitors are having a good time, and some of the little people are making money – the tourists seem to prefer the township taverns and the local food, so not all bad. To give you the same warm fuzzy feeling I got, you will be thrilled to learn Eskom spent R12 000 000 on tickets and then they wonder why their workers want better pay.

    ma maT
  4. One of my interests in this WC is match fixing. You probably know all about this, but I will prattle on anyway. African teams at the WC are particularly vulnerable because they are poorly paid by their national bodies, and sometimes not paid at all. Thus African players who represent their countries at this high level face the prospect of going home going home in debt, and in such a position really cannot say no to the (usually) Asian match fixing organisations who offer them big financial rewards. Declan Hill, an independent journalist, has investigated this convincingly I think, and concludes that the only solution is for Fifa to pay players across the board, with extra payment per goal.

    Match fixers are very seldom prosecuted if caught, and prosecutions hardly ever lead to penalties. Thus match fixers do not even try to hide their actions, and openly boast of their powers. This is vociferously denied by Fifa officials, but all the same it is patently true. This could explain why African teams go out of the WC in critical games, when their loyal (and generally dirt poor) fans at home bet on them to win in vast numbers, and the players bow to financial pressure and lose the match but go home with money in their pockets. The home fans lose their money, which goes into the pockets of the fixers, but at least the players get a kick back. Cynical but probably true in more cases than we would suspect.


    rich crowe
    • its entirely plausible that there is match fixing at the world cup but the argument about african players being poor is spuriuous. the majority of players at cameroon. ghana, cote d’ivoire, and nigeria are based in european leagues and earn as much as 100 000 pounds a week. this does not eliminate the possibility that they are susceptible to taking money to perform poorly but it makes it far less likely. the reasons African teams perform poorly has more to do with organization and egos.

      olufemi terry