'I almost lost my life for the vuvuzela'


Superfan Freddie 'Saddam' Maake claims he almost died trying to defend his invention of the vuvuzela, way before they blew up during the 2010 World Cup.

With the country looking back on 10 years since hosting the first FIFA World Cup on African soil, Maake believes his name is not mentioned enough alongside the iconic instruments.

View the story of the vuzuzela in the picture gallery above!

Maake's story was well documented by the world's media in 2010 as he claimed he got the idea for the vuvuzela when his brother Solomon gave him a bicycle with a horn for his 15th birthday.

The prominent Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs supporter said he removed the airpump from the horn, and the first vuvuzela (pictured below) was born in his home village of Sekgopo.

Since then vuvuzelas grew in popularity and after the success of 2010 can now be seen at all sporting events around the globe, not just soccer.

Maake famously made no money from vuvuzelas despite the frenzy and furore it created in South Africa and around the world.

"What I'm really complaining about is this culture of ours here in Mzansi," Maake tells KickOff.com.

"When someone does something they are not saying anything. Only when he is dead they come and say he did this and that.

"1978, 1979 Chiefs played against Wits in the Mainstay Cup and I was with my vuvuzela. By then it was made of aluminium, it was very long [see below].

"1989 I met Peter Rice who is based in Germiston who makes plastic products like Tupperware. I asked him to make a plastic one for me.

"1999 I changed its name to vuvuzela, because when my white friend gave it to me it was written 'boogie blast'. After that it was 'trumpet', but I ended up naming it vuvuzela which means 'welcome unite'. It makes us united.

"2009 during the Confederations Cup I welcomed Sepp Blatter and asked him not to ban vuvuzelas. After that it was roadshows everywhere promoting the 2010 World Cup.

"That's when I encountered problems with companies making vuvuzelas. I asked them to give me R10 for every single vuvuzela they sell, they said no.

"After that I got a call from a certain church in Natal that claimed they were the first one to use the vuvuzela. They even flew one church member to come here to speak to me. It's a big church in Natal.

"I told them that my vuvuzela was not similar to their trumpet. They threatened me saying, 'You will die, you won't reach three weeks!'

"I remember one day after watching Chiefs and Pirates I was attacked by nine or fifteen people. I'm not sure but I think it was a setup. I stayed in Durban two weeks injured.

"They took my phone, they took my money and my airtime and Chiefs merchandise. I was stabbed in the chest and my whole body. They demanded to buy my vuvuzela from me.

"I didn't get even a cent out of this vuvuzela but today it is everywhere.

"I went to Pretoria and I found out there were chancers from Cape Town who tried to register it. I failed to register it because there were a lot of people who were claiming vuvuzela as their own. I fought for this thing.

"I thank SAFA because they've been there for me. I almost lost my life for nothing. I'm an owner, I'm a founder of vuvuzela. All I want is acknowledgement and recognition, not money."