Because everything about this first African World Cup is beautifully brand-new, I want a Holland v Spain final on Sunday. Yes, that way we’ll be assured of a new winner of the world’s most desirable football trophy.
Removing three-times winners Germany from the equation is just a bonus. But, first, Spain need to do the business under the soaring arch of Durban’s glorious Moses Mabhida Stadium tonight. And they will need their ace ball-distributor Xavi Hernandez to be at his very best to ensure that David Villa and Fernando Torres get to bang the ball in the old onion bag.
Let’s hope Xavi will be more on song with the ball than he is with the vuvuzela. Not that his sumptuous lifestyle at his ridiculously luxurious villa at home – and the repayments on his tennis court-sized Jacuzzi – will be threatened by his inability to blow the vuvu. But please put on your granny’s corset – to stop your sides from splitting – and check this out…
Heavens to dear old Anabella, that’s even worse than I blow it. Purse your lips, Xavi, and put them inside the mouth of El Trumpeto, amigo!
Here, let a little South African girl show you how it’s done…
There. How was that? Sweet, hey? Got it? What? Lips inside the vuvu, bru! Nort, man. If you’re going to win the World Cup here in South Africa, you must practise your parping, my china. We need you to give old Sepp Blatter a lekker blast in his earhole when you go to accept your medal!
My hands are up. I confess. I’ve had more than a few unkind words to say about Cape Town on this blog.
But that was then. When I was living 40 metres from the golden sands of Umdloti Beach north of Durban and was transfixed by the stunningness of the majestic arch over Moses Mabhida Stadium.
And this is now. I still prefer Durban’s World Cup stadium to Cape Town’s but, given that I have moved Hatman Mansions to a glorious village just two hours out of Cape Town and am trying to make new friends there, it’s time I sucked up to Cape Town a bit. Bloggers are allowed to change their minds, aren’t they? What’s that? Oh.
Moving swiftly on, and in the true South African spirit of ubuntu (togetherness), I have had a strict word with myself and am now happy to endorse Cape Town as a World Cup destination of no little charm.
And the ensuing video suggests that I might not be wrong. For those Korea Dictatorial Republic fans who haven’t ever visited the Mother City, you may now drop your jaws at this…
Not altogether shabby, is it? No. Better than what you’ve got at home, perhaps? Ignore that. Unfair question. So have yourselves a ball in Cape Town, my foreign friends, and thank Peter Greenwall for sending me his cinematic take on what goes on under and around Table Mountain.
And – I’ve got to slip this in – if the stratospheric levels of hedonism get too much for you, hire a car and drive for a couple of hours up the R43 past Hermanus to my home village of Stanford. Here you’ll find a ridiculously friendly welcome at the third best-preserved Victorian village in the Western Cape. And the first best-rehabilitative oasis on the entire planet! I know. I live here and I’m super-chilled. So chilled that I’ve even begun to like Capetonians!
I’m sure all of this has got you gagging to get on that plane out of Pyongyang, hey?
All those “SA-positives” who visit here know that I love a good vuvuzela, the cultural weapon of choice for hardcore Bafana Bafana supporters.
In fact, I was horrified to learn that some do-gooder has banned the use of our vuvus on aeroplane flights around South Africa during our most phenomenal of all World Cups, now just a mere 360 or so hours away.
Quelle horreur!Eish. Or as we in paradisical Stanford are inclined on occasion to exclaim, “Good golly!” This Fifa-ass-kissing decision flies in the beautiful face of the spirit of South Africa’s World Cup. How are we to create a suitably raucous atmosphere around the World Cup finals if we are banned from parping our vuvus on planes?
What, because Mrs Carruthers-Smythe sitting in first-class might beckon a trolley dolly to her aid and mutter, “I say, my dear, would you mind terribly if I ask that those ne’er-do-wells at the back be ordered in no uncertain terms to tone it down a bit?” I say “Phooey, tell Mrs C-S not to be such a spoilsport, is it asking too much that she tolerate a little extra turbulence for just five weeks?”
No, it seems that South Africa’s fuddy-duddies and Spanish midfielder and Liverpool reject Xabi Alonso, who made a big stink about vuvuzelas when he played in the Confed Cup here last year, are to be indulged by our kindly Uncle Sepp (Blatter). I don’t know what the World Cup is coming to, if you ask me (but nobody does).
Never mind, it’s good to know that Hyundai, who are an official sponsor of Uncle Sepp’s Rather Exclusive African Party of the Year (otherwise known as the Fifa World Cup) and maker of rather crap cars, have shown their support of our beautiful vuvuzela with a bright-spark marketing ploy in Cape Town. Check this out…
Please Hyundai, won't you let me have a parp on that?!
Lekker, hey? I’ll be quite embarrassed to show my vuvu in public after seeing that! Call it vuvu envy if you like. And you do like, don’t you? Yes, you do. Admit it! And sticking that humungous vuvuzela right there holds an extra bonus in that it might stop a few German supporters taking a wrong turn after a heavy night down the Fireman’s Arms and plummeting off the edge of The Unfinished Freeway. Actually, come to think… oh, never mind.
You laugh?! There are many stories Capetonians will recall, if you buy them a Mojito, of friends who nearly did just that. But that was before the Traffic Department woke up to the danger of not completing a freeway… and then forgetting to let people know that, no, that road wouldn’t take them to Green Point but rather to the morgue.
We can be as “SA-positive” as a life-sized biltong replica of Table Mountain, dear Hatpeople, but if some English footy fans want to get trashed and start rorting (fighting) with nationals from every country with which Britain has ever been at war (including, I suppose, the Zulu and Boer tribes), then our World Cup cops will have their work cut out.
So the South African Police Services have been conducting simulated exercises to deal with any violent situation that might arise during World Cup 2010. They have been spotted giving their assault helicopters a good valet service, polishing millions of hand-grenades and even spring-cleaning their rocket launchers.
But we must get this into perspective. English football “fans” who like nothing more than a post-match skinful of Carlsberg Special lager, a well-dodgy shish kebab and the old “handbags at 10 paces” with supporters of the opposing team have only the British bobby to contend with…
A British bobby on the beat
Fine. The great British bobby is renowned the world over for shepherding blue-rinse grannies over a busy street, patting flaxen-haired children on the head and, after producing a boiled sweet from a large pocket, sending them scurrying home so as not to be late for tea. When they’re not entertaining Japanese tourists by wearing their standard issue tutus.
That’s all very nice. But I’m thinking that, just perhaps, those English “fans” keen on a little hows-your-father after drinking The Biltong and Boerie dry might want to be a tad more prepared for South Africa’s version of Mr Plod.
So, committed as I always am to providing a public service to foreigners trying to find their way around South Africa, here is a quick guide to how to not have to deal with the South African po-lis.
But, first, let’s have a quick peep at some of South Africa’s finest fuzz at work…
South African police deal politely with football fans who appear to have lost their way
So here’s my stagger-by-stagger guide to English supporters wanting to safely find their own beds after any of the forthcoming World Cup matches…
1. Once the final whistle has blown, proceed immediately to the nearest fan supporting the opposition (this includes those of a German, Argentinian and Zulu persuasion, as well as any stray Scots who might have got confused and landed up in the mix), cheerfully shake his or her hand and offer your congratulations for a game jolly well played.
2. After departing the stadium by the nearest exit, fall into single file and make your way home in an orderly fashion past every hostelry which purveys liquor and loose women, stopping only to smile and wave at anybody jeering at you or lobbing sharp objects provocatively from the windows of passing vehicles.
3. Once safely home, prepare for yourself a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and Ovaltine, catch up on all the latest World Cup results and news on the telly, text your Nan back in Old Blighty that you have enjoyed a splendid day out and tuck up with a good John Grisham before lights out at 11pm.
There. That wasn’t very difficult, was it?
Alternatively, you could swarm to the nearest pub, get lashed on Carling Black Label and Jagerbombs, pogo around bellowing “Enger-land, ENGER-land” with your bum-crack showing, suggest to a large Afrikaner’s wife that she spend the night sleeping in your vomit, pick your body up from the carpark and, after returning several limbs, bones and other anatomical appendages to their former place, ricochet off in search of a bucket of KFC and an equally motley crew of Germans with whom to trigger off World War III.
No terribly clever, Nigel. And, I might add, you won’t find a full English Breakfast the next morning in the Rooinek Wing at Rustenburg Prison.
There’s only one person I dig less than a foreigner criticising South Africa. Actually, let’s start again. there are only two people I dig less than a foreigner criticising my country and those are a South African expat living overseas whingeing about South Africa and a South African living here in the most amazing country in the entire chuffing world but banging on about how bad things are and wishing he was in Perth. Or London. Or Vancouver. Or Chernobyl. Or anywhere in the world but in South Africa.
What is this all about? I, the first person in South Africa (even before President Jacob Zuma) to be medically diagnosed as “SA-positive”, cannot get my head around it. That might well be because I’m phenomenally stupid. Fair dos.
Dianne was simply exercising her right to give her personal opinion about her experience. As she did when she exercised her right to join her South African boyfriend here in Cape Town. Her eyes, unlike those of many whining South Africans, were opened to the beauty of our beloved country. Not just the physical beauty of the landscape but the beauty of our fascinatingly diverse peoples, their friendliness, their openness, their warmth, their vitality.
The view from Dianne Russell's Cape Town apartment... what a lucky Canadian!
But clearly she had not chatted to that weird group of South Africans – mostly, in the words of that nincompoop Julius Malema, of a “white tendency” – who live frozen in fear behind their electric fences and only come out by day to make large amounts of money and to go to braais held by their similarly-minded friends.
There they will wolf down humungous amounts of steak and boerewors, sluk on brandy-and-Coke and Castle Lager and whinge incessantly about how terrible crime and corruption is, how this country has gone to the dogs and, maggies, have you checked how bad the potholes are on the road to the office? These South Africans stand around the braai rooted in their collective consciousness and abject fear, moaning and wishing they could go to live in a “civilised country”.
They mourn “the good old days” (read the apartheid era) when most of the national resources were handed to them (a small percentage of the population) on a plate and the vast majority of South Africans had to get by on the scraps thrown to them. Now that our new democracy is founded on sharing everything equally among everybody (and the government is struggling to do that and make ends meet), these “SA-negative” people dream of supping on the “milk and honey” which apparently abounds in other countries.
Yeah, yeah. Pull the other one. When are these previously over-privileged South Africans going to grow up? Get real, mense. Have you even travelled abroad to grasp at the reality of living in stultifyingly over-regulated, overly politically correct and plain boring countries such as the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand? Please do. and make it a one-way ticket. You’re holding us back, bru. And your negativity is draining the beautiful energy the rest of us are putting out.
And some of you had the ignorance to write into this blog to bash away at the positivity Dianne Russell, a Canadian, feels about South Africa. Your anger was tangible, so much so that a rather confused Canadian blogger has brought it to the attention of Canada. How dare a foreigner move to our country and have the audacity to tell us how wonderful it all is? Who does she think she is? A South African? Ja, if she were South African she would share our pain at the moerse potholes our double cabs disappear into on a daily basis. And to be truly South African like us, she must give up her Canadian passport, hand in her Canadian dollars, stop being a “party girl” and sitting around sipping cocktails outside Caprice in Camps Bay and come to stand around our braai in Hierdieplekisblerriekakfontein and endlessly bemoan the increasing girth of Julius Malema and potholes.
Eish! But there is hope for these people. Remember Brandon Huntley, that sad South African okey who claimed political asylum in Canada after telling some gullible immigration officials there that he had been mugged, assaulted, sodomised and even sworn at at least five times a day while living in Mowbray, Cape Town. You do? Well, there you go. I’m sure there are quite a few countries that will give you full citizenship on the grounds that those potholes are getting so bloody big that you can’t get your double cab around them on your way to work. Then you can freeze happily ever after and leave us to somehow struggle on in the brilliant sunshine of our South African lives.
And I tell you what. Before you go, I’ll let you in on something personal. Back in the day (yes, under apartheid rule), when I was mos a laaitie – and before PW Botha’s military taught me how to shoot a R1 rifle at the commie terrorists on “the border” and before Home Affairs confiscated my passport because I refused to work as a spy for them in London and before they tapped my phone when I joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement there and before they detained me and interrogated me at Jan Smuts Airport when I next came back to South Africa to visit my parents… yes, before all of that – I used to play soccer barefoot with my friends, white and black – on a golden field near a river running through Pietermaritzburg. Late into the night and by the light of nearby houses.
And the next day, we would go down to that river and feel our chests thump as we whooshed down that foofie-slide that Uncle George had fixed high on a tree. And then, slightly bruised and bleeding, we would slosh around in the river, worried about bumping into the much-feared legavaan (Varanus abigularis or Monitor Lizard) that apparently could break a child’s leg with a swish of its tail.
A Legavaan... this mythical river beast could apparently break our legs with one swish of its tail
Then we would collect tadpoles in the river to take home to watch grow into frogs, stopping only to munch mulberries off a number of trees and grab a few leaves to feed the shoeboxes of hungry silkworms about to go through their cocoon-moth-egg-silkworm cycle. And once, when the river came down in flood, the boy next-door and I borrowed my mom’s zinc bath (used to bath the dogs) and sailed merrily down the river. We ended up about eight kilometres away, on the other side of Maritzburg, and I had to borrow five cents to phone my mom and ask her to come in the car to pick us up as we couldn’t carry the zinc bath all the way back.
It was a beautiful childhood. Until I became gradually aware of the racist policies of the government of the day. I owe a great debt to my country. South Africa owes me nothing. I love South Africa.
No more so than when I see, around where I am blessed to live, children of all tones of skin kicking a football around on the village green. And getting very animated when they spot the seal that has taken up residence in the river that runs through Stanford. These children won’t grow up to be told to shoot rifles in a crazy war, they won’t be asked to spy for a crazy government and it is highly unlikely that they will be stopped at OR Tambo Airport and interrogated about why they belong to an organisation that campaigns against a racist South Africa.
That, my friends, is why I believe that we live in a far better South Africa. A South Africa that is not without great challenges, for sure, but a South Africa in which I choose to live and die in. So, when you are around that braai this sunny weekend and the dop (liquor) is going down fast and freely – and perhaps you are watching the Bulls play Super 14 rugby in Soweto, nogal – please try to get your potholes drama into some perspective.
And, even better, perhaps you might want to clamber out of your huge pothole of fear, leave Dianne Russell alone, put on a Bafana Bafana jersey, get hold of a vuvuzela and join the rest of us “SA-positive” people in celebrating our uniquely wondrous country and the sensational World Cup we are about to host. Feel it. We SA-positives are here!
Look. I might be new to blogging (just 14 weeks in the game). And I might be a total stranger to the intricacies of the internet. Indeed, I’m still trying to work out what pingbacks, analytics and plug-ins are. No pork. I’m groping around in a worldwidewebbed wonderland here. And having too much of fun.
But here’s a thing. This blog’s Google Analytics, whatever they are, show that the searchwords that bring the seventh highest number of visitors to South Africa’s only “medically diagnosed SA-positive” website are, cough, splutter, “Genevieve Morton naked”. Are you with me here? Yes. After, quite understandably, “Fred Hatman”, “proudly South African”, “Umdloti”, “world’s best blogger”, “unicycle” and, er, “world’s biggest liar about being the world’s best blogger” comes “Genevieve Morton naked”. What’s that all about?
OK, so I’ve mentioned Gen on my blog a few times. I would. She’s a close friend and confidante. And she raises even Umdloti’s temperature when she takes her permanently reserved suite at Hatman Mansions and lies around my rimpool in that white bikini she likes to wear. And my staff very much like her to wear.
But have I posted any naked pictures of her on this blog? No. This is, to all intents and purposes, a family blog. Even if I do have naked photographs, and I do, I wouldn’t share them with the world, would I? No. That’s quite correct. I wouldn’t. So stop searching for pictures of Gen naked on here, OK? It’s not nice.
My dearest “SA-positive” Hatpeople. It pains me to report that there are those among us who are insisting that the vuvuzela, the South African ‘People’s Choice’ of passion-blowing instrument at local football matches, be dead and buried by the time that nice Mr Blatter brings us our 2010 World Cup finals.
Nobody is more excited than me about WC2010. But why does South Africa have to roll over, have our collective tummy tickled and accept a European-oriented Fifa ruling that our vuvu, which has been blown with fanatical gusto at PSL soccer matches for years, be out-schmarketed at our greatest sporting showcase by elitists who don’t give a toss (of a coin?) for the ordinary man and woman in the street who fill the coffers of the great and the good at Safa week in and week out? Just because some Spanish player (Xabi Alonso) whinged at the Confed Cup that a stadiumful of vuvuzelas wasn’t very tuneful to his European ears?
It makes me violently ill. So it’s OK for the workers to build the new stadia for R2,400 a month (before they protested for an increase last month) but it’s not cool for them to rock up at those self-same stadia (if they can afford a ticket) to “paaarp” on Bafana Bafana at the World Cup finals? Unless it’s with an First National Bank-sponsored “kuduzela”. “How can we help you?” More like “How can we shut you up?”
SA soccer legend Lucas 'Roo' Radebe has been roped in by FNB to promote the lightweight 'kuduzela'. Eish!
What next? The banning of those brilliant outsized sunglasses that Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates (and South Africa) supporters wear with such feverish abandon? The doing-away with those outrageous home-made, um, headworn billboards that are worn on miners’ helmets or hardhats? Who can forget the mindboggling sight of that soccer fan who wore a gutted fish over his head? Too much of awesomeness! But “Fifa” security suits are going to say to him: “Sorry, Sir, you can’t bring that fish in here. Please eat it now or throw it into that bin with the vuvuzelas and other offensive items.”
Eish. Welcome to Fifa’s sanitised version of South African soccer. Made more palatable for a worldwide televised audience. South African soccer Blatterised. The best opportunity ever to show the world the unique flavour and unbridled joy of our truly, madly, deeply passionate fans well and truly lost.
Allow me to briefly interrupt this protest to bring you a televisual presentation of our beloved vuvu…
Nice. Better than the Scottish bagpipes, hey? Thanks to SuperSport, Matty Morgan and YouTube for that.
“SA-positive” people simply cannot allow their ears to witness the death-rattle of the vuvuzela. Danny Jordaan of the 2010 LOC (Local Organising Committee) and sponsors FNB, and all the other “stakeholders” (how I detest that word!) cashing in on the unique celebration of OUR beautiful game, must be made to see the consquences of their submissiveness to Fifa. And be made to look down the barrel of our collective vuvuzela. Viva Bafana, Viva Vuvu! Paaaaarp!
Welcome to my view from Biltong National Park (BNP). BNP was immaculately conceived in a London basement flat in 1995 when a group of South African expats and a truckload of beer gathered for every minute of the Springboks’ inexorable march to Rugby World Cup glory. Yes, 1995. The year of Francois Pienaaar’s inclusion of 45 million South Africans in the history-making RWC victory, Nelson Mandela’s nation-unifying wearing of Pienaar’s No 6 jersey and Joel Stransky’s last-gasp drop-goal. Fourteen years on, the sporting madness which is Biltong National Park still draws diehard Sharks, Springbok, Proteas and Liverpool fans to my living-room.
That’s the intro bit. Now for your weekend sports review. Enough has been written and said about the Boks’ smashing of New Zealand, notwithstanding the wobbly first 20 minutes of the second half, so I’ll hand you over to Independent Newspapers’ star rugby commentator Mike Greenaway, whose match report got it spot-on (read it… er, I was going to link to Mike’s piece on iol.co.za here but Independent’s plodding and lacklustre apology of a website does not appear to have loaded it). Skande!
Allow me then to pass you on to Bob Skinstad whose post-match interview with a still-sweating Bryan Habana was perhaps the next most articulate and insightful commentary on the “Bashing in Bloem”. The sound isn’t the best so pump up the volume and enjoy Habana’s inside analysis on how the 2009 Tri-Nations might unfold…