Vuvuzela Pump

I am a vuvu god! Bloody hell those things are annoying. They remove all perspective from a game inside the stadium, truly detracting from the experience of a football match. But when you’ve got one in your grasp, they are impossible to resist.

A young lady first offered me her vuvu (steady…) right opposite the stadium after the boredraw French Uruguayan affair. The bar was packed of course, and the constant drone of vuvus was like a jumbo circling directly overhead. Only louder. After a couple of blows from me, her vuvu remained strangely silent. I asked her to show me how she did it. She was hopeless at trying to explain. “Just blow” just isn’t an answer. I asked her to show me her lips doing the motion sans vuvu. Insight remained elusive.

And so, after another couple of games, my quest for vuvu tutelage continued to flounder. More locals, Dutchies and even Germans after having banished England all failed to show me the ropes, despite their own hard won ability to produce piercing parps.

It was reminiscent of the time I was around eleven years of age. The Music teacher pulled out his trumpet (…please). In scenes that today would send elf ‘n safety brigadiers apoplectic, each one of my classmates in turn tried a blow. Only two or three out of 30 managed to find a note. For a school founded literally hundreds of years before, it was a devastating indictment of educational malaise.

Why is it so difficult to explain how something (so simple) should be done?

Then a local girl from the Cape Flats, in the Mexican Shebeen no less. What a place. She was hardly five foot tall, yet created a bellow louder than an army could have mustered. A demonstration of the movement, expertly narrated, with follow-up analysis, slow-motion breakdown, and user involvement including finger on lips and cheek to gauge pressures.

It was a masterclass. And I got it. It really is, as the African name suggests, all about the ‘pump’. Surely a moment to treasure. Like first riding your bike without assistance.

I chanted the only way you could in such situation. The Full Metal Jacket way.

This is my vuvu. There are many like it but this one is mine. My vuvu is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my vuvu is useless. Without my vuvu I am useless….

Ending on a sad note, I have since been parted from my first ever vuvu. Apparently not everyone in a bar enjoys the sound in the wee small hours. Such is life. In the sunshine of another day though, it’s fascinating to reflect on how you get a training/teaching/coaching point across to a salesperson. Especially if that seller is your client-side champion.

Can you do it like my Capetonian heroine?

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