I have to be honest and make a small confession. I don’t really care much for soccer. This should not come as a surprise to those who know me, but taking the current circumstances into account it’s almost a blasphemous thing to say. South Africa is hosting the Soccer World Cup and it kicks off in less than 24 hours. Already the sights and sounds are overwhelming and all consuming in South Africa and one can’t help but become enthralled by the anticipation and excitement. Over the coming weeks the world will be entertained by sexy and sweaty men running behind a ball, but this will not be the only source of entertainment. The oddities and idiosyncrasies of the South African people will provide for so much more.Soccer is not really a sport I quite get. You put a bunch of guys on a playing field, two nets and a ball and their goal is to kick their ball into the other teams net. Once they achieve this, the proud striker takes off his shirt, run around like a crazy person pulling faces and climatically ends his celebration by hugging and kissing his team members. Honestly, we gay folk do this all the time and we don’t call it sport! Having to watch all this occurring on a sports field probably could become quite boring if it wasn’t for some players. You see, I recently was sent an e-mail of a certain Christiano Ronaldo and after viewing some of the steamy pictures I can’t wait watching him score a goal. I don’t care whether his team wins or loses; I just want to see Ronaldo take off his shirt, run around flexing his muscles and kissing other guys. But I digress…
In South Africa we celebrate soccer matches with accessories. Normally soccer fans will paint their faces and bodies and/or wear funny things. No not us in South Africa, we also come armed with a secret weapon. It’s called the Vuvuzela. It is plastic, a meter long, brightly colored and is suppose to sound like an elephant if blown correctly. Blown incorrectly it sounds like a goose being raped. Vuvuzelas have been blowing around me for the last couple of days increasing in number and frequency and volume, slowly driving me crazy. Not only are they excessively loud but they are also becoming annoying. In the last couple of days many geese have died gruesome deaths both at my work and at home. I feel like Clarice Starling wanting to know when the lambs will stop screaming! So good luck soccer fans, remember to bring those ear plugs.
Another essential item on the South African soccer fan’s armor is the Makaraka and yes it’s as strange as it sounds. It is a type of helmet, if you can call it that, and it’s purely decorative. It’s a hard hat that has been modified artistically and almost can look like a piece of installation art worn on your head. It’s also accompanied with over sized sunglasses. Some folks have took this a step beyond and modified the Makaraka to be functional as well; you can now also add two beer cans and drink it through a straw thereby leaving your hands free to blow your Vuvuzela. Personally I own neither, and I couldn’t be bothered to wear a Makaraka because it will ruin my hair, besides I leave crazy head pieces to be worn by Lady Gaga.
In less than 24 hours the Soccer World Cup will start and South Africans are prepared. Many have bought their tickets, planned their parties and are keeping their fingers crossed for our national team. Adorned in the colors of the South African flag, protected by their Makarakas and Vuvuzelas in hand thousands will pitch up at the stadiums or community viewing points and enjoy each game. I shall be enjoying watching Mr. Ronaldo and be keeping my fingers crossed that he will make as happy as he is each time he scores a goal.
Till next time.
Official Fifa World Cup Song