Mon | Dec 9, 2019

Kelly's World | Vuvuzelas are going to drive us crazy

Published:Monday | August 12, 2019 | 12:14 AM

I didn’t attend the Grand Gala on Independence Day this year, and I’m glad I didn’t.

I attended one year ago, and quite frankly, there is no need to go back. The long lines, the crowd, and the pushing and shoving isn’t for everybody.

So I just watch it on television like most people. Better that way, if you ask me, considering that we get more camera angles to work with.

But one reason I would not have attended this year was because of those blooming vuvuzelas.

Now, the average Jamaican, and I think the average person across the world, didn’t know about these horns until the 2010 World Cup that was held in South Africa.

The really astute among us would have noticed them from the year before, when the Rainbow Nation also hosted the Confederations Cup.

But the viewing public never really got the full blast from the slender horns until the world’s great football tournament began.

More than once, the commentators mentioned that the noise viewers were hearing from their TVs was not a malfunction; the vuvuzelas were just that powerful.

A World Trend

Like all world trends, Jamaicans simply had to adapt. Before you knew it, all the street vendors were stocking them.

Sure enough, whenever a world sporting event that involved Jamaica came around, like the Olympics or World Championships, the horns became a staple.

No matter where you were in relation to those town square viewing parties, it feels like you could hear the horns. At times, it was cool.

To be fair, we didn’t need much help to mek noise; we are a vocal and high decibel people.

Long before the vuvuzelas, we used pot covers (and still do) to hammer out our joy at political events, sporting activities or any other joyous occasion (like when Mandela or Obama did visit).

Even the most ‘intimate’ of conversations at some point cranks up enough volume to make those nearby go “shh”.

So the horns of (apparently) African origin were destined to become part of the Jamaican experience.

But now they may have overstayed their welcome. If the noise sounds so deafening through my (not) hi-def TV, imagine what it sounds like to persons in the National Stadium.

I remember going to watch a few Reggae Boyz games and two Boys’ Champs (they weren’t merged with the Girls’ Champs yet).

Between the drums and the whistles, I thought I was going deaf. So I don’t think I want to face the vuvuzelas.

I’m not surprised that stadium security confiscated some of the horns from patrons in the grandstand area.

But the patrons over in the bleachers had free use of theirs. That’s still a lot of horns.

Let’s save the vuvuzelas for when Jamaica is hosting a rival team, especially one we really don’t like. I’m sure the US or Mexico might not like to hear horns for a full 90 minutes, especially in our relatively small stadium. The National Arena and Indoor Sports Complex might make it a little difficult, too, for opponents if we really went all out.

But other than that, leave the vuvuzuelas at home.

I still don’t think the lawmakers will move on that. Nobody wants to be seen as the one to outlaw something the masses have come to love, especially the ‘likkle man’.

So expect the vuvuzuelas to be around for a while.

Pass mi earplugs.

- Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com.