'This is Africa, so just get on with it'

AN EXPRESSION used to convey frustration with Africa in the 2006 film Blood Diamonds has become a mantra in defence of South Africa's football traditions over the past week.

AN EXPRESSION used to convey frustration with Africa in the 2006 film Blood Diamonds has become a mantra in defence of South Africa's football traditions over the past week.

In the film, a cynical diamond smuggler played by Leonardo DiCaprio, says simply T.I.A. (This is Africa) when called on to explain the continent's at-times maddening, for-some-addictive brand of chaos.

This week, it was European football fans, players and commentators who were being told "This is Africa", after they rained criticism down on vuvuzelas.

While South African ears are attuned to the whine of the vuvuzela, which can be melodic or monotonous depending on the skill of the player, to foreign ears the sound of thousands being played simultaneously in a stadium is like an angry swarm of bees.

European champions Spain led the charge on the trumpet this week. "I think they should be banned," Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso said said. "They are a distraction and do nothing for the atmosphere."

South Africans, already sensitive to what they see as unduly harsh scrutiny of their World Cup organisation in Europe, have come out all guns blazing.

"Perhaps it hasn't come to Europe's attention that they're no longer our colonial masters," the sports editor of the respected Business Day news-paper wrote in an editorial on Saturday.

The Sunday Times warned: "This is an African World Cup and when in Africa ..." - Sapa-DPA

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