‘Before funny things started’ | A World Cup monologue by Tapuwa Moore

Then I got swept off my feet when someone spilled the beans and leaked the story. The president’s youngest wife had an affair with her bodyguard. Hail MaNtuli! I exclaimed. This revelation made headlines. The topic was hot on my favourite talk-radio station. I kept on saying Hail MaNtuli! As a freelance activist and a feminist when I get to it I had to be in solidarity with the mother of the nation. The woman had to “get some” just like her partner, who engages in multiple sexual relations. Hail First Lady No. 2! The sad thing about the story was that the co-affair man committed suicide! Irrespective of all that was said and done, What was the man doing fucking the president’s wife? It must have been a matter of national security or a way to mess with the patriarchal moralists, tradition and culture. That is why the poor brother shot his brains out.

Before funny things started

I was self-involved,

Doing life decisions, philosophical introspections about my multiple faceted self

Being a woman, a mother, a soccer coach, a homosexual sexual being, an artist, and a black human in this old country.

I was simply preoccupied with personal and non-personal philosophical existential issues.

At thirty-four I was still trying to figure out the difference between love and infatuation.

I was fresh from my stellar performance of Vagina Monologues.

In deep worship of vaginas and in love with the hot, hot cast I was performing with, including the drag-queen gentleman.

I was totally in love with all vagina-bodied people, except the woman who rode horses, an exceptional black woman.

She was an outstanding performer. I’m not sure if I had trouble with her riding horses, but she rode horses. She talked too much, like she was running her own personal green room. The woman had all the money in the world. In addition to that she was beautiful and black. She is a serious globetrotter. The lady has it all, she reads all the books from Oprah. She is the only one I never had sexual fantasies off. I wonder why and I don’t care why. A friend wanted to explore further my dislike of the horse rider. I told her I hate the pungent smell of horses and horse shit. I’m still adamant about not wanting to know why I don’t like her. I guess it is not important unless I was planning to bed her. Which is a no!

Then funny things started happening, the Football Fridays mania, resulting in most South Africans believing the euphoric, nostalgic idea that South Africa would go all the way to win the World Cup. To my surprise the president made a speech alluding to that fact.

I was in awe—wow, I must have been a lousy soccer player and coach, a lousy basketball player, a lesbian-breasted player not to foresee such predictions!

More strange things were being uttered: “Phillipe is here.’’ Goodness, I thought, Phillipe Troussier, the former national team coach who dismally failed us, is here, back again for his second coaching stint. “No,” my sister said. “It is feel it, it is here!” “Oh” was my response.

Things started looking weirder when I walked in the streets of Johannesburg and realized I am the only woman without a national team shirt on or a vuvuzela in hand. My friends have, school kids have, nursery children have. Even the woman who is clueless about soccer—and it happens to be my younger sister—has one. The only encounter she had with soccer was during the opening game of the World Cup. She had her back to the screen and was trying to coerce me to pray or sing the national anthem. I’ll give her leeway. She must have been caught up in her own passive aggressive soccer fever.

To make matters worse old women own national-team regalia, from blankets to hats. I must be the only crazy person or the only sane person left.

The days before the World Cup drove me up the wall. At 6:30 a.m. a vuvuzela’s blowing, buzzing me out of my morning peace. I quietly mutter curses under my breath, some aloud. While in the mist of the vuvuzela-alcohol frenzy somehow I got hold of the yellow adidas shirt from a professor at Wits University. To tell you the truth I wore the shirt once in my inebriated state. NB: Both shirts in my closet were of first-round losers. Both gifts were from university gurus. My take on this is the shirts had an “academia curse.”

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