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Africa misses the chance to blow its own trumpet

I’m a football fan and I’m really enjoying the World Cup. But I’m torn on the most controversial aspect of the tournament — the vuvuzelas.

On the one hand, I agree that the sound of the horn is the unique characteristic of the host nation’s culture, and the rest of us have no right to ask South Africans not to blast them.

There is an imperialist arrogance about the call from UK fans to have them banned.

On the other hand, I feel sad that the ugly, flat, joyless monotone of the instrument is drowning out the songs, chants and even goal celebrations of all the other participating countries’ fans.

I keep thinking of my old friend John Peel — a football fanatic and great lover of African culture — and I think he’d regret that a wonderful chance to internationally showcase the exuberant spirit of African music has been lost.

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