News / Africa

Exuberant South African Football Fans Fired Up for 2010 World Cup

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

The first football World Cup on the African continent has sparked a serious outbreak of football fever in South Africa. Experts say because it so infectious, the hundreds of thousands of visiting foreign fans are likely to catch this unique enthusiasm for the game.

South African football fans are among the most exuberant in the world. For them a match is a party and, win or lose, they celebrate with song, dance and noise.

Flag vendors are doing a booming business as everyone gets into the spirit. Flags from all 32 countries competing in the Cup can be seen waving from cars, homes and offices. The most popular? South Africa's, of course.

The 2010 World Cup mascot is called Zakumi. He looks like a leopard in a football uniform, only his wild hair locks are green. He has become an instant celebrity as he crisscrosses the country celebrating the game.

Saddam Maake bills himself as the number-one fan of the South African team. He attends most of the games dressed from head to toe in the team colors of yellow and green.

"I like soccer. I am a soccer slave," he said. "I drink soccer, sleep soccer, eat soccer. That's why I love soccer."

Among fans who like to dress up, a popular accessory is the Makarapa. It is made from a plastic "hard hat" used in the mines. Parts of the shell are cut in the shapes of balls, flags or football players, bended out and painted.

Artist Alfred Baloyi, another football fanatic, made the first Makarapa 30 years ago after he saw a fan hit on the head by a bottle thrown during a match.

"When I go to the stadium I wear it to save my head," said Baloyi. "So when days go on [as time goes by] I paint it. I go to the stadium, the people, they like it."

The hats became so popular that he began selling them. Baloyi works at his home in a shanty town outside Johannesburg. Dozens of artists imitate his work and produce thousands of hats a month for clients around the world.

Another local football fixture, though more controversial, is the Vuvuzela. It is a long plastic horn that produces a single note. But when thousands of them are blowing at the same time they create a din (noise) that opposing teams say can be intimidating.

Some foreign players and TV announcers have called for the horns to be banned. But football's governing body, FIFA, has refused saying they are part of the African football experience.

A special dance has been created for the World Cup. It is called the Diski after a local term for football. It mimics the moves by soccer players on the field.

A band of young steel drum players are practicing for opening night on June 11th in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium when South Africa plays Mexico.

Although some visitors find this exuberance a bit hard on the ears, many foreign fans say they love it because it celebrates football. And in Africa celebrating football means making noise.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid