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South Africa’s over-the-top football fans

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first_img14 May 2010 South African soccer fans are among the most colourful, passionate – and eccentric – in the world, as visitors to the country during the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ will soon discover. Come the afternoon of 11 June, should you find yourself in the grandstand of the Johannesburg’s calabash-shaped Soccer City stadium, chances are you’ll be sitting next to someone sporting a bright yellow jersey, oversized goggles and a decorated miner’s helmet or “makarapa”, and blowing a bright plastic trumpet known as a vuvuzela.Symbols of pride And these are just some of the must-have “symbols of pride” for any self-respecting South African football fan, local soccer fanatic Freddy “Saddam” Maake told BuaNews recently. You might also see supporters eating bread to indicate that the opposition is their “daily bread”, opening a Bible in search of divine intervention, or carrying a homemade coffin to indicate that their team is about to “bury” the opposition. “Come the World Cup, Bafana Bafana supporters will be easily recognised … we are proudly South African and what better way to show it than to have all our symbols,” said Maake, urging South Africans to go all out and buy the full range to show their support for the national team. With the kick-off to Africa’s first Fifa World Cup fast approaching, entrepreneurs’ creative juices are flowing freely, resulting in some hilarious supporter accessories. Vuvuzelas, kuduzelas, momozelas … One company recently launched vuvuzela-shaped earplugs for quieter fans. Company spokesperson Andrew Chin said the move was a patriotic one, intended to embrace the instrument while providing ear protection for those who wanted it. “The World Cup is a fantastic event, and rather than entertaining complaints about the noise from vuvuzelas, we thought we’d do something positive,” Chin told BuaNews. “We believe all South Africans should get with the World Cup party, embrace it and have fun at the same time!” Among other accessories is the Kuduzela trumpet, a kudu horn-shaped alternative to the vuvuzela, which sounds like a trumpeting elephant. Then there’s the “momozela”, or baby vuvuzela, which sounds like a baby crying. While many may find it irritating, local soccer fanatics love the sound it makes. Maake said there is also the “vuthela”, which is more user-friendly as it does not take as much effort to blow. And those with a burst of energy to carry extra kilos to the stadium might want to take the “baleka”, or “gijima” as it is popularly known, which, after being wound for some time, emits a sound like an air-raid siren.Six colours of passion Some local supporters simply cannot do without their long, colourful church robes when they go out to support their team, Maake said, adding that it has become fashionable for fans to wear these along with giant glasses displaying team slogans and logos, and afro wigs sprayed the colours of the national flag. The country’s creative entrepreneurs have also made scarves, head bunnies and hand gloves for those who will attend matches in the chillier parts of the country. And of course, the South African flag is a must for every supporter, its latest incarnation being the car side-mirror “socks” that have become increasingly visible on the country’s roads. The makarapa And then there’s the makarapa, the modified, decorated miners’ helmet unique to South African soccer fans. The makarapa dates back to 1979, according to the man credited with making the first one. “The way I invented the makarapa is almost as weird as I am,” said Alfred Baloyi, 54, a die-hard Kaizer Chiefs supporter who said the idea came to him while he was sitting in a stadium. “Someone threw a bottle and hit someone on the head.” At his next game Baloyi, who worked as a cleaner in Limpopo province at the time, wore his work safety helmet decorated with football imagery. The makarapa’s embellishments commonly include images of favourite players, former president Nelson Mandela, current politicians, and team flags and colours, said Baloyi, whose selling price has escalated from a mere R7 in 1979 to a cool R300 for a helmet today. For the World Cup, Baloyi and his employees are making makarapas to suit fans of most of the 32 teams. Maake, who has over 300 makarapas, boasts that he has one for every occasion. He said his makarapas have mini-portraits of Nelson Madela, Danny Jordaan, Sepp Blatter, Kaizer Motaung, Irvin Khoza and Molefi Oliphant. “I wear these guys with pride,” Maake said. “They contributed significantly in bringing us the Fifa World Cup.” Whether Bafana Bafana win or lose during the tournament, Mzansi’s fans will be sure to win a million hearts with their outrageous regalia and over-the-top antics. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Shiv Sena demands action against Poonam Pandey

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first_imgModel Poonam Pandey had said she would strip at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai if India won the World Cup final.Shiv Sena on Friday demanded stern action against 20-year-old model Poonam Pandey, who has said she would strip at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai if India won the World Cup final on Saturday.”The model has told newspapers that she would strip in the stadium, if India wins the world cup. The government has to take action to stop such things,” Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe said in the Legislative Council on Friday.”It was shocking to learn that Poonam’s parents have given her permission, as per the interviews,” Gorhe said.”The government should make its stand clear on this,” Gorhe, also a Sena spokesperson, said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Tiger Woods pleads guilty to reckless driving in Florida

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first_imgTiger Woods on Friday pleaded guilty in a Florida court to reckless driving and entered a program for first-time offenders, avoiding a conviction on the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) last spring.The 41-year-old professional golfer was found asleep in May behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz, which was parked alongside a road not far from his home on Jupiter Island.Woods entered his plea and accepted the conditions, including 12 months of probation, by responding to questions from Florida Circuit Judge Sandra Bosso-Pardo. He will now enter a diversion program offered in Palm Beach County for first-time DUI offenders.Woods is eligible for the program since he had no prior criminal record, cooperated with police and was not involved in a crash, said Dave Aronberg, state attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida.Woods has already completed 50 hours of community service as part of the program, said Aronberg.”This particular plea agreement has no jail time,” Bosso-Pardo told Woods during the hearing. “However, if you violate your probation in any significant way, I could revoke your probation and sentence you to jail for 90 days. Is that understood?”Woods replied: “Yes.”The hearing lasted only a few minutes. Woods, dressed in a charcoal gray suit and a gray T-shirt, did not answer questions shouted by reporters as he left the courthouse in Palm Beach Gardens and was driven away in a black SUV.Woods told police officers at the time of his arrest that he was returning from Los Angeles, but could not remember where he was going, even though his car was headed away from his home, the arrest report showed.advertisementWoods had five drugs in his system when he was arrested, but no alcohol, according to a toxicology report. Those drugs included generic forms of the painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid; the mood drug Xanax; the sleeping pill Ambien, and a drug that contained THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.If Woods completes the program, the reckless driving charge will be expunged from his record. But if he is arrested again for DUI, he will be treated as a second-time offender, Aronberg said.In a statement after his arrest, Woods apologized to fans and blamed the incident on prescription medication he was taking to manage pain from a recent back surgery.Woods, who is second on the all-time list with 14 major men’s golf titles, has not won a major championship since 2008.In 2009, he was involved in a bizarre early-morning car crash outside his home near Orlando. The incident ballooned into a sex scandal involving allegations of extramarital affairs, and ended both his marriage and some lucrative endorsement deals.last_img read more