They may make the most hated sound in the world at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped the South African vuvuzela from becoming the most wanted FIFA memorabilia.
Not only has Britain reported record sales of the instrument, vuvuzelas are also selling like hot cakes, online. An iTunes application called Vuvuzela 2010 has already topped the charts in Europe.
The vuvu-buzz has got the Capital enthralled, too. Newscafe, a South African pub in Vasant Kunj, has had several enquiries from football enthusiasts on where they can get one. “Everyone loves them! Initially, we had 15 vuvuzelas but guests have taken them all. It’s fun to play them during matches,” says Ryan Scheltema of Newscafe.
Though stores in Delhi don’t stock vuvuzelas, a few hundred are doing the rounds courtesy FIFA sponsors Budweiser. “We had ordered about 10,000 vuvuzelas for India, out of which, 500-750 were for Delhi. But we didn’t foresee that they would become more popular than any other FIFA memorabilia in Delhi,” says Kapil Agrawal, CEO.
Retailers are now ruing missing the Vuvuzela bus. “We ordered FIFA hats and flags, but not these. I feel its too late to order any now,” says Rakesh Gupta of Gift Palace, Khan Market.
Facebook and Twitter too are abuzz . “Please, please, please someone gift me a Vuvuzela,” wrote Rita Toteja on Facebook.
Global vuvu buzz
One vuvuzela sells in Britain every two seconds at 2 Euros each (Rs 115) UK retail chain Sainsbury has sold 40,000 so far Amazon.com has reported a 1,000 per cent rise in sales, at the price $9.99 (Rs 465) per vuvuzela On ebay.com, there are over 400 open bids for vuvuzelas. One bid has already reached $17.64 (Rs 820)
...OR MAYBE NOT
While vuvuzela sales touch a new high world over, there are many who don’t blink before declaring it “the biggest menace.” Broadcasters around the world are inundated with complaints from angry viewers asking them to “shut out the buzzing noise” and despite FIFA making it clear that vuvuzelas are here to stay, English fans continue to bet whether there’ll be a ban as the games progress.
The French broadcaster TF1 has changed its microphones to filter out the noise, while BBC and some Columbian broadcasters are looking at ways to mute the noise after being flooded with requests. “Please, please, please remove the buzzing bees from the game,” writes Leo from the USA. “The horns suck, let’s eliminate that frequency,” writes Zeb from Germany.
The players and coaches are also complaining about the incessant drone. “Those sirens or trumpets — I don’t know what they are — make it very difficult to speak on the field,” said Argentine striker Carlos Tevez. Dutch striker Robin van Persie nearly got a second yellow card for not being able to hear the offside whistle because of the vuvuzelas.
Portugese star Cristiano Ronaldo has already voiced his displeasure at playing amidst the nagging noise. The Switzerland team, in fact, practiced with vuvuzelas noise in the background to prepare better.
— Debjeet Kundu