Traditionally made from a kudu horn, the vuvuzela was used to call together meetings and could be heard by distant peoples summoned to attend. Today soccer stadiums in South Africa are invariably filled with its loud and raucous
sound, which reverberates with energy to the exhilaration of supporters. Although more investigations are required, initial findings certainly demonstrate that the vuvuzela exceeds the permissible occupational noise exposure levels in South Africa and poses a significant recreational risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Preventive measures such as public awareness and hearing protection should be prioritised as an important health care approach in sporting events where the vuvuzela is used, especially in view of the upcoming World Cup. The vuvuzela has reached iconic status and should be kept as part of the South African soccer culture, but measures to protect spectators’ hearing must be considered of paramount importance.