News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 24th 2018

Banning the vuvuzela would kill jobs, creativity and branding space, says industry

Siyabonga Kalipa

                               With South Africa’s national soccer symbol the vuvuzela under siege, local manufacturers say any decision to ban the instrument during 2010 games would stifle a growing industry and lead to job losses.

Vuvuzela manufacturers report a spike in demand as a result of the Confederations Cup and expect more of the same in 2010 as corporates cash in on the branding opportunities at stadiums and tourists look for souvenirs to take home.

The plastic trumpet has also blown out a number of alternative industries, from vuvuzela’s decorated with intricate beadwork to eco-friendly products made from seaweed.

But the noise of tens of thousands of fans blowing wildly on their vuvuzela’s at games, described by some as like the sound of a swarm of angry bees and by others as an elephant in distress, has caused horror in some quarters during the Confederations Cup.

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso said he thought the vuvuzela should be banned because the noise made it hard to concentrate and was “unbearable”. The Dutch coach and television broadcasters have also complained about the noise.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, however, has defended the instrument, although FIFA is reported to be undecided about whether it will be allowed at stadiums in 2010.

Vuvuzela manufacturing company Masincedane Sport Business Development manager Neil van Schalkwyk said: “With these complaints that we have been hearing about, it would mean no business for us if the vuvuzela was to be banned. We have 20 people working for our company. The people that work for us would be without jobs.”

Van Schalkwyk said the company was averaging 25,000 units a month which sold for between R20 to R30 each, mostly as a result of demand from companies, who used the vuvuzela for branding.

“There is a huge demand for our product and we even sell internationally,” he said.

Kelp Environmental Learning Project (Kelp) creative director Adam Carnegie said there was an increase in demand for the vuvuzela both locally and internationally.

There were 28 people working at Kelp, which produced a natural product made from kelp rather than plastic.

The project employs previously unemployed people to collect kelp from beaches which is then dried out and painted to produce an eco-friendly vuvuzela.

And Cape Africa Media worker Nabila Bassadien, who brands vuvuzela’s with company logos, said: “If it was going to be banned we would lose out on a lot of sales and it would mean I would be out of a job. We would also lose out on an opportunity to market a South African product internationally.”

Brands would also miss the vuvuzela.

MTN football sponsorship manager Dudley Zikhali said MTN had been using the vuvuzela for branding since 2005.

He said the vuvuzela was popular amongst soccer fans and the company gave them to fans in their team colours.

“This helps with the brand exposure and the awareness of our involvement in football,” he said. — West Cape News

Tags: fifa, vuvuzela

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One Response to “Banning the vuvuzela would kill jobs, creativity and branding space, says industry”

  1. [...] la agencia de noticias West Cape News los fabricantes de Vuvuzelas anuncian que, si las vetasen, el golpe económico sería terrible. Venden más que nunca y se están convirtiendo en el souvernir/la marca más solicitada por los [...]

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