Friday July 10 2009
The ‘buzzzzz’of a million vuvuzelas is here to stay he buzz of the Confederations Cup is gently fading into the night and there are questions if the “buzz makers” will be present when the World Cup returns to South African soil in 2010. The vuvuzela, possibly originating from Zulu meaning “making noise” or from every other language meaning “death to your ears and sanity”, is a long plastic trumpet used in locally to create a buzz at soccer matches. The noise is often described as the sound of an elephant although many have described it as the sound of a swarm of bees. Nonetheless, the spirit horn is causing quite a stir among the international community, some even calling for its ban from the 2010 World Cup. FIFA has received thousands of calls from angry fans complaining that the sound of the vuvuzela is not only distracting when watching the matches on television but it also drowns out the commentators. Coaches and players have joined in with the disapproving fans and have voiced their displeasure. Dutch soccer coach, Bert Van Marwijk told reporters that the sound of the vuvuzela interferes with his ability to
coach his players on the field. Spanish midfielder, Xabi Alonso, added that the noise makes it nearly impossible to communicate between teammates on the pitch, and that it doesn’t add any atmosphere into the stadium. He also admitted that the noise makes it difficult to concentrate while playing. Some fans at the stadium who came to sit and enjoy a quiet afternoon or evening of soccer, complained that the decibel level of the vuvuzela causes permanent ear damage. They claim the damage is magnified when a die-hard Bafana Bafana fan, sitting directly behind them, blasts the vuvuzela right into their eardrum. The only concern FIFA has voiced over the vuvuzela came out of a meeting in 2008 in which they conditionally approved the noisemaker for the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup as long as they remain free from logos and advertisements and as long as “hooligans don’t use the vuvuzela as a weapon.” Entrepreneurs have pointed to the financial gains as the best reason to keep the instrument in the stadiums. Upon the FIFA’s announcement in 2008 allowing the vuvuzelas, there
John Adams Reports
■ Fans make themselves heard during a Confederations Cup game. were more than 20 000 plastic instruments sold in a 24-hour period. Economists project more than 50 000 additional instruments will be sold during the World Cup next year. FIFA President Sepp Blatter remains in support of the vuvuzela as a traditional African sound, but many object to its African heritage claiming that the
instrument’s prototype was developed in America. However, South Africans are quick to point out that life began at the Cradle of Humanity located in Maropeng in Gauteng, and thus everything comes from Africa including the vuvuzela. No doubt, the debate will rage until the completion of the 2010 World Cup, and the opinions will
PICTURE: RICHARD DUCHON
be as diverse as the countries participating in the most watched sporting event; but as for now, keep practising because the vuvuzela is here to stay. ● John Adams is a journalism intern from the University of Southern California who is currently working at Cape Community Newspapers, which publishes Sentinel and 13 other titles.
Let’s go motoring
Suzuki’s quirky Swift will win lots of fans E
seats too have plenty of support. The instrument panel reflects Suzuki’s sporting genes: the rev counter is based on the design of the GSX-R superbike, with the zero mark at six o’clock – where your eye falls naturally. The trim quality is high and the centrally located dash-mounted display shows time, fuel consumption (which is switchable between instantaneous and average consumption) and outside temperature. In the GLS, the test car, the satellite controls for the audio system are on the leather trim steering wheel. Storage space is plentiful, there are useful binnacles for small, personal items, a compartment in the instrument panel, front and rear cup holders, large front door and seatback pockets, as well as an oddments tray under the front passenger seat. The Swift is powered by a perky 1.5-litre four-cylinder multi-point fuelinjected engine employing variable valve timing (VVT) and because it weighs just 980kg it can go from 0 to 100km/h in 10 sec, Suzuki said. The engine is fully Euro 4 emissions standard compliant, with a CO2 emissions rating of 151 g/km for the manual version. The GLS is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox (a four-speed automatic is available) that even me, an automatic man, found sharp and slick. Steering is light and responsive, the ride is good but if you push it round the curves, watch for the under-steer. It is also surprisingly quiet. Suzuki says the Swift has a top speed of 175km/h. I didn’t put it to the test but at times on my usual route, which does include some deserted stretches of road, the needle hovered around the 150 mark and the Swift held the line well. It has a 43-litre tank and in a combined cycle uses just over 6litres/100km, Suzuki said. But my figures were nearer the 7litres /100km mark. However, if you have a light foot the tank could take
you a bit more than 600 kilometres. The GL is the entry level model, though also with a high spec level. The GLS boasts a CD and MP3-compatible CD tuner, front fog lamps, side and curtain airbags, in addition to the dual front airbags. Other safety features include ABS brakes with both electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist. A factory-fitted alarm/immobiliser is part of the standard specification on all models, as is central locking operated by a remote control that boasts hazard lamp confirmation as well as a panic function and tamper-resistant door locks. The Swift is a good all-rounder with no airs or graces. It’s fun to drive and its quirky character will win a lot of fans.
■ The Suzuki Swift, a good all-rounder There are three models: The GL (R141 900) The GLS ( R155 900) and the GLS AT (R172 900) and all are covered by a three-year/ 100 000 km warranty. It includes a four-year/60 000 km service plan
and a three-year roadside assistance package with medical rescue services. ● Prices correct at the time of going to press.
DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM
ARE YOU A VISUAL ARTIST OR A SCULPTOR 2009? The Department of Economic Development and Tourism requires 30 paintings from artists residing within the Western Cape Province. The Department intends to host a series of open art exhibition platforms, where sculptors and visual artists can showcase their artwork to the general public and potential buyers. The exhibition will take place within the following Western Cape District Municipalities: Districts
1.) Cape Metropole 2.) Eden 3.) Beaufort West
Golden Acre Shopping Mall Garden Route Shopping Mall, George Beaufort West, Shopping Centre
14 – 15 July 17 – 18 July 20 – 21 July
4.) Cape Winelands
Worcester Tourism Centre
24 – 25 July
Hermanus Tourism Office
31 July and 1 August
The final 30 selected artworks will be exhibited throughout the Department’s public spaces. The theme will be reflective of the Department's vision, which in essence is one of a shared sustainable, growing, labour-absorbing and a globally competitive economy. Artists are required to provide a photograph of at least one work; a “mug shot” /photograph (head and shoulders) and a one-page profile of his/her achievements as an artist. The project is open to everyone. This exhibition will be open for public viewing and will be an introduction, promotion and showcasing of local artists. Selected artists will be commissioned to produce new work. 1) Short-listed applicants will undergo a screening process, which may include interviews and a presentation of work completed. 2) The preferred service providers (artists) will be contacted and are expected to attend a briefing session in response to the brief. 3) Photographs or sketches of what they have in mind in response to the set brief must also be provided. 4) Final interviews will be held by the Department (Cape Town central) or at the local Municipal offices for refinement of the selection process. 5) Artists outside the above-mentioned municipalities are welcome to submit their work to the address below. The closing date for above-mentioned requirements is 10 July 2009. Profiles and photographs can be posted or e-mailed to: Viola May. Telephone: (021) 483-9331 or 083 582 0219. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Postal address: PO Box 979, Cape Town 8000 or 10th Floor, Waldorf Building, 80 St George’s Street, Cape Town 8001.
nter the Suzuki Swift, the vehicle that’s going to turn the compact car sector on its head. Launched last year it is the motoring giant’s first passenger car for the South African market. The sports utility vehicle (SUV), the excellent SX4, was the first to break cover, second was the Jimny, the little 4x4 that can (These two models have already been featured in Off My Wheels) the Vitara was next and a test will appear soon. The Swift made its debut at the 2004 Paris Motor Show and it has since won a number of awards including the Overall Car of the Year in Japan and Australia, among others, as well as a cluster of Small Car of the Year labels. The plaudits are well deserved and according to Eijj Mochizuki, an executive at Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan, it defined a new direction for the automotive brand in general. Though most compacts on the road look similar, the Swift has some unusual design touches: A stand-out feature is the wrap-around glasshouse windscreen design. The front incorporates clear headlamps, a broad air dam and flared wheel arches that help to give it its unusual squat look. But don’t be deceived by its compact shape. Despite its short wheelbase (2 390 mm) the clever designers have worked their magic and there is a lot of room inside. Headroom is ample and the rear passengers have plenty of space to stretch their legs. Of course something has to suffer and it’s the boot – 213 litres. And if there’s not enough room for your shopping there is a fold-out hook at the back of the front passenger seat to hang one or two bags. You can move the driver’s seat backwards and forwards and the good news is that the sporty-looking threespoke steering wheel is height adjustable as well so I soon found a comfortable driving position. The