SOUTH Africans have rallied behind the vuvuzela amid threats to ban the noisy plastic trumpet from World Cup matches.
World Cup Local Organising Committee chief executive Danny Jordaan has threatened to ban vuvuzelas if fans blow them during the singing of the national anthems, announcements and speeches.
While fans Sowetan spoke to across the country yesterday expressed mixed feelings about vuvuzelas, most of them love the instrument.
And it looks like England defender Jamie Carragher's kids love them too.
"The noise from the vuvuzelas does not affect the players. It's mostly when you are on the stands that you hear the noise," Carragher said. "My kids have called me about it and looks like I'm gonna have to get some going back home."
Said Joe Tserema of Rustenburg: "Although I'm not good at blowing it, I love the vuvuzela to bits and I'll be sad to see it banned. Even my three-year-old son goes around the yard blowing it. It has become part of our culture in football and we can't allow foreigners to influence a decision to do away with it."
Said Valentine Mtshika of Port Elizabeth: "It will be unfair. Every country has its own unique way of celebrating and ours is blowing vuvuzelas. The Koreans had their drums the other day and it would have been unfair to tell them not to bring them because that is who they are."
Anelisa Ngcibi, a volunteer at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, suggests an earpiece for captains.
Divhani Maremba of Louis Trichardt said: "We love vuvuzelas and we don't care who says what. The vuvuzelas and the singing makes the stadium vibey. We are Africans and we love singing and dancing."
Said Ray Makololo of Moletji, outside Seshego: "Whoever wants to do away with the vuvuzelas should just go home. It is a sign of this World Cup and is even better than Zakumi. Viva vuvuzela, viva!"
Nicodemus Makhuvhela of Seshego said the vuvuzelas "have been approved by Fifa, so there should not be a problem. Opposing them will be wrong". Simphiwe Mhlanga of Johannesburg said: "Danny and those who want to ban vuvuzelas will never succeed. The vuvuzelas are here to stay."
Lindo Zondi of Durban said: "Those who want to ban vuvuzelas might as well tell the supporters to stay away from the stadiums. A match without a vuvuzela is tantamount to a funeral."
But Bellinda Poli, an Italian journalists covering the World Cup, called for the banning of the horn.
"I would be happy to see them banned. I thought there would be a lot of song and dance from Africans and I have not seen it because of the vuvuzelas.
"I don't think it reflects the African spirit."
Said Thuthukani Sithole from Durban: "Maybe if the vuvuzelas could be banned would teach fans to respect national anthems."
Local Organising Committee spokesperson Rich Mkhondo was quoted by Reuters yesterday as saying: "Only a minority are against vuvuzelas. There has never been a consideration to ban vuvuzelas."
"Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?" Fifa president Sepp Blatter asked.