And we name you – Vu­vuzela

Since the first of­fi­cial World Cup in 1934, play­ers and fans alike have in­flu­enced, and been in­flu­enced, by the game. The tour­na­ment spawns trends that linger and en­ter main­stream cul­ture. THABISO THAKALI and CANDICE BAI­LEY re­port


BWaka Waka, the col­lab­o­ra­tion of pop­star Shakira with lo­cal afropop band Fresh­ly­ground may be the of­fi­cial song for the World Cup, but there have been many songs float­ing in the air since be­fore kick off.

One is K’Naan’s Wavin the flag. Used as a pro­mo­tional jin­gle on a Coca-Cola ad­vert, it has been dom­i­nat­ing the air­waves.

MTN’s theme song Ev­ery­where you go, fea­tur­ing Kelly Row­land and a col­lec­tive of African artists, has been en­joy­ing much air­play.

DJ Cleo and Baba Mthethwa’s Shapa, Bafana, Shapa and DJ S’bu’s Vu­vuzela Bafana from the al­bum com­piled by lo­cal artistes in cel­e­bra­tion of the na­tional foot­ball team is by far the most pop­u­lar song with lo­cal fans.

And then there’s Show dem – make the cir­cle big­ger, by JR and co­me­dian Joey Ras­dien, a song whose pop­u­lar­ity is largely owed to a Vo­da­com com­mer­cial cel­e­brat­ing the na­tional team dur­ing the tour­na­ment. ABIES: It’s not un­usual for soc­cer-crazed fans to name the new­est ad­di­tions to their fam­i­lies af­ter play­ers in the World Cup. Last month, a Glouces­ter­shire cou­ple showed their sup­port for the English World Cup bid by nam­ing their baby Beck­ham.

Bloemfontein cou­ple Bu­siswa Lan­diso and Sa­muel Nt­shiwa named their son af­ter the of­fi­cial slo­gan of the in­ter­na­tional event – Ke Nako.

A Free State fam­ily named their twins, who were born dur­ing the open­ing game, af­ter the two com­pet­ing teams – Bafana Rein­hardt and Mex­ico Llewellyn.

Anele Nt­shinga has called her daugh­ter Fifa, af­ter the world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body.

For many years soc­cer play­ers have in­dulged in su­per­sti­tions that they hoped would se­cure them suc­cess in the tour­na­ment.

In 1998, Lau­rent Blanc laid a big kiss on the head of keeper Fabian Barthez be­fore ev­ery game as a good luck charm.

For­mer English cap­tain Paul Ince and Ivo­rian de­fender Kolo Toure ap­par­ently pre­fer to be the last play­ers out of the tun­nel onto the pitch. Ince was also the last one to put on his shirt. English de­fender John Terry re­cently re­vealed that he wore the same shin pads for 10 years be­fore they were stolen dur­ing a Cham­pi­ons League game.

He is now said to be wear­ing what he con­sid­ers a “lucky pair” that be­longed to team-mate Frank Lam­pard.

It re­mains to be seen what rit­u­als will emerge from this tour­na­ment.

One of the most pop­u­lar World Cup tat­toos must be that of Ital­ian soc­cer player Marco Mat­er­azzi, who in 2006, tat­tooed the World Cup tro­phy onto his arm af­ter the Ital­ian side won the cup.

This time round, it’s the Ghana­ian striker Kevin Prince Boateng who is prob­a­bly the most tat­tooed player on the pitch with 13 tat­toos across his arms, chest and neck. Not far be­hind is Eng­land’s bid am­bas­sador David Beck­ham, who has 11 tat­toos in­clud­ing sons’ names, Brook­lyn, Cruz, and Romeo, on his back, as well as a tat­too of a guardian an­gel in the shape of a cross. He also has the Ro­man nu­mer­als VII to com­mem­o­rate the num­ber seven he wore for Manch­ester United on his right arm.

Aus­tralian striker Tim Cahill’s left sleeve de­sign pays homage to his Samoan her­itage and fam­ily his­tory.

Per­haps some of these art­works will in­spire lo­cal fans.

Signed and framed soc­cer shirts of play­ers like Brazil­ian star Pele could sell for up to R450 000.

The norm for fans want­ing to re­mem­ber the cup is to col­lect orig­i­nal posters, balls and stamps used in the game. But this year it is a sim­ple plas­tic trum­pet that is em­blem­atic.

Newer ver­sions of the vu­vuzela have spawned the tiny Mo­mozela that pro­duces the sound of a baby cry­ing and the larger Kuduzela, shaped like the horn of a Kudu and pro­duc­ing a deep roar. There is also a se­lec­tion of whis­tles and rat­tles. Other uniquely South African mem­o­ra­bilia in­clude fleecy knee blan­kets in the colours of the South African flag, makara­pas and those over­sized plas­tic glasses known as Maza­this.

When Beck­ham brought the Mo­hawk look to the 2002 World Cup in Korea, hair­dressers were in­un­dated with re­quests from boys – young and old – to give them a “Beck­ham”.

Por­tuguese heart­throb Chris­tiano Ron­aldo in his early years wore a ca­su­ally cut hairdo, with a few strands high­lighted but his pre­ferred look is the faux hawk­mul­let hair­style.

This year more than half of the Al­ge­rian team have dyed their hair blonde. But it’s clearly “The Teko”, af­ter Bafana Bafana’s Teko Modise, that has been most pop­u­lar with lo­cal fans.

Sim­i­lar to a Mo­hawk with­out the high ris­ing spikes, it’s a clean shave with a sim­ple stripe left in the mid­dle of the head. Young boys have been spot­ted in malls sport­ing the new look.

Goal cel­e­bra­tions have long char­ac­terised the World Cup. There was the le­gendary Bebeto of Brazil do­ing the cra­dle dance at the 1994 World Cup; Marco Tardelli’s faint­ing run af­ter scor­ing in the 1982 fi­nal and Brian Lau­drup’s sig­na­ture pos­ture in 1998.

The most iconic must be Roger Milla’s corner flag jig-dance which now fea­tures on Coca-Cola’s com­mer­cial dubbed “His­tory of Cel­e­bra­tion”.

There may not have been many goals in the first week of this World Cup, but there was no dearth of cel­e­bra­tions when goals did come from Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan with his Kwasa Kwasa like dance fol­low­ing his penalty kick against Ser­bia, and Brazil’s Maicon and Elano show­ing some Samba foot­work at El­lis Park.

Ger­many’s Miroslav Klose’s front-flip cel­e­bra­tion against Aus­tralia was first tried out dur­ing the 2002 World Cup.

Sphiwe Tsha­bal­ala, Katlego Mphela, Kag­iso Dik­ga­coi, Teko Modise and Reneilwe Let­sholonyane’s care­fully chore­ographed dance moves af­ter Bafana’s first goal against Mex­ico may have not been ev­ery­one’s taste – but they marked a re­lease of African rhythm on the pitch. Let’s hope they get an­other rea­son to cel­e­brate next week.


GOAL GLEE: Bafana Bafana’s Siphiwe Tsha­bal­ala, sec­ond from left, cel­e­brates scor­ing the first goal of the World Cup with team­mates in the match be­tween South Africa and Mex­ico at Soc­cer City on June 11.


NEE­DLE MATCH: Ghana­ian striker Kevin Prince Boateng will be among the most tat­tooed play­ers on the pitch.


MILLA JIG: Cameroon soc­cer leg­end Roger Milla re-en­acts his pop­u­lar dance in Zurich last year.

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