Baldness is not Ayoba nor Ke Nako – Reflections from a Rural Fan Park

Baldness is not Ayoba nor Ke Nako – Reflections from a Rural Fan Park

Hendrik Snyders
University of Stellenbosch

It may or may not be the last stand at the OK Corral or the bridge across the River Kwai. But it is there and you can feel it – as one of the tournament’s slogans use to remind South Africans and visitors alike. From Fan Park to stadium, it has proclaimed its presence in an anarchic burst of colours – red, gold, black blue, white, all fittingly on the soil of the Rainbow Nation. Outrageous in its definity, it unwittingly acted as a final bulwark against the trap of falling into the net of the all-pervasive FIFA™ grab. It – the headgear of numerous soccer fans –  not only bears testimony that Africa’s time indeed had came, but it also asserted the principle that bald and bare-headed in support of your team is neither Ayoba (“super cool”) nor ke Nako (the time). United in their diversity as proclaimed by South Africa’s constitution, the Makarapa and its counterparts, ranging from the headpiece of Imperial Rome, the Uncle Sam of the U.S. of A, the symbolic feathers of the Aztecs, the calabashes of Ghana, and the lone canon of an Asian stood as the last keepers at the gate to unfettered soccer commercialisation. In surge after surge, between Fan Park and water hole, at its most basic level, as comrades in arms, head, wig, and mask decorations in unison with the shaven head, styled and decorated in the colours of the national flag forcefully proclaimed and reclaimed the ownership of the game. Without the permission or the marketing rights bestowed by either FIFA™ or Match™….


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