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World Cup: Get real, FIFA, the vuvuzela is about as traditional in Africa as the iPod

June 14, 2010 |  2:47 pm

Just received a rather splendid letter by e-mail that says much better than I ever could just what nonsense all this vuvuzela business is.

It came from Gerard Cantor, a producer in Los Angeles and likely one of many World Cup television viewers around the world who have had it up to here with the plastic horns.

Rather than ramble on myself, here's what Cantor wrote. If you agree or disagree, feel free to comment.

"The vuvuzelas are FIFA's biggest World Cup failure in its entire history. 

"Mr. Blatter [FIFA President Sepp Blatter] has defended this as a South African tradition. Did vuvuzelas play a big role in their storied soccer league that was formed in 1991? The Zulus may have used the kudu horn, but modern-day South Africans' connection to the vuvuzelas has nothing to do with that. This so-called 'tradition' has more to do with the free market than with a country's custom since in 2001 [a South African company] began to mass produce these nuisances at a cheap price which coincides with their use. This clearly has nothing to do with a country's or continent's cultural identity. 

"I want to hear the true African traditional [sounds] like drums, kalimbas, mbira or chants, not the irritating drone of cheaply produced horns that drowns out the emotion of the game and replaces it with unprecedentedly and maddeningly irritating and loud noise. Hell is surely filled with an eternity of vuvuzela dissonance.  Thanks, FIFA, for giving us hell."
So, any takers? Is there a vuvuzela champion out there (apart from the manufacturer)?
-- Grahame L. Jones, in Johannesburg, South Africa