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.