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Vuvuzela takes on the World

Mark Namanya/Twenty Ten

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Other nationalities embrace the vuvuzela.

Until late May, an American football fan, Bob Freeman, had never blown a vuvuzela. His initial feeling towards the plastic trumpet was quite negative, but he is now one of many who have been won over by the unmelodic World Cup instrument.

“It is an African thing, I told myself,” he admits. “I actually hated the vuvuzela when Alonso (Xabi) complained about it during the Confederations Cup last year.”

Freeman was one of several American supporters showing his support with the vuvuzela when the US took on Slovenia at Ellis Park during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. So accomplished was his vuvzela playing, that he was even showing Slovenian fans how it’s done during the match. Freeman has passed on his technique to more than twenty people.

“Initially the whole experience of blowing the vuvuzela sounded strange. There was no rhythm and balance to the whole process in matches,” he says. “But today, I enjoy it. I like the wild atmosphere it creates at matches. It’s like everyone has gone crazy – that’s what the World Cup should be ideally.”

Prior to the World Cup, the common consensus was that the much-maligned vuvuzela would only be an issue when hosts South Africa were playing. It was not anticipated that the plastic trumpet would form the backdrop to every World Cup game.

In Rustenburg, the vuvuzela was louder than ever when England were playing USA, with both sets of supporters nearly filling the Royal Bafokeng stadium....

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