What Vuvuzelas Reveal About Deeper Issues

It’s been less than a week, and all I seem to read in the newspapers re: World Cup is complaints from people outside the country about the Vuvuzela (the plastic trumpet creating the “buzz” sound you hear in the stadiums). I find that rather…disheartening. My feelings about this are pretty involved and complex (possibly over sensitive), but I’ll try to lay it out neatly here.

The initial gut response to articles like one the BBC just put out left me thinking, “why does Africa have to bend to the World when they host something, while when those outside of Africa host an African, they expect the African to bend to them?” I LOVE the FIFA President’s response… something like, “we’re in Africa, enjoy the vibe”. Right on!

Culture isn’t necessarily right or wrong. Sometimes they’re just different. Ask an African about the quirks of an American and they’re quick to rattle off some annoyances… but they’ve accepted me anyway :). Do we value the voice of Africa around the globe? I would hope so. I have a deep belief that the African voice is a healing voice for the globe. It’s unique… it’s not so much Western or Eastern thinking… it’s African thinking. It’s special, deep, rooted and can educate every part of the world. The issue, however, is acceptance. Will Africans we send to America, Europe or Asia as missionaries be accepted?

I get it… how am I pulling this from people complaining about vuvuzelas. Get over it, right?

But…it’s not REALLY about the vuvuzelas.

It’s about an attitude and a response. The vuvuzela issue is a superficial outworking of a deeper issue. I will say this though: this is really more MY issue. Africans are strong and can deal/have dealt with insensitivity globally. I just hate that anyone has to deal with it ever, in any capacity… and especially over a plastic instrument used for celebration and rejoicing.


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