The ubiquitous vuvuzela has been the biggest talking point of the world cup and will, in all likelihood, end up being one of the biggest African cultural exports to the world since Kwasa Kwasa and Zimbabwe stone sculpture.
It is fantastic for the general vibe of a soccer match but it does kill the singing in the stadiums. Imagine never hearing You’ll never walk alone at Anfield again.
Well, that is a distinct possibility! Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has bought two for his children and Sainsburys, the UK supermarket group, has sold more than 40 000 of them at £2 each! Someone spotted an opportunity.
This is something you can hardly say about the playmakers in the African teams at the World Cup, by the time this article was written.
While all the major stars have complained about the vuvuzela and Jabulani, the ball, they all tap in to their innerzela when it matters the most. The innerzela is about two things: inspiration and focus.
For instance, when North Korea parked the team bus in front of their goal, Maicon still found the space to parallel park the ball into the back of the net from an impossible angle.
Against a flamboyant Cameroon, Denmark were practical and disciplined enough to put away the chances that fell to them.
I was in the stadium for both matches and one could see how unhurried the Danes and Brazilians were as they went about in search of a breakthrough.
If anyone can send that Camel through the eye of the needle, it is the South Americans.
Witness Kaka’s discipline in waiting for the right moment before perfectly threading a pass through to Fabiano for their opener against Cote D’Ivoire.
The African playmakers, on the other hand, give me the impression of players who always have one touch too many at moments when they ought to be ruthlessly exploiting a gap.
The discipline to execute at the right moment is simply not there.
It has been the same for England mind you. Fabio Capello has hinted that his galaxy of stars failure to perform is more psychological than physical.
The role of a diamond is to shine.
Rooney, Drogba and Eto’o are diamonds but the quality of their sparkle is directly proportional to the quality of the playmakers behind them.
The innerzela is simply not there.
This is why Fabisch, may he rest in peace, should have taken Moses Chunga to Cameroon.
There was no one to pass the ball to Peter Ndlovu in the final world cup qualifying match of the dream team and I think that is why we did not make it to the ’94 finals!
What about you? What has cluttered your diamond? An abusive spouse, boss or perhaps just the general economic climate in Zimbabwe?
Use this world cup to observe the practical football of the Scandinavians, the patient game of the Latin Americans and derive lessons from their approach for your own life.
For whether it is a 90-minute football match, or a five month long battle of the Somme in World War One, the University of Life offers unique lessons in how you respond with optimism in the face of failure.
I am sure readers of this column have been inspired by one idea or another at one point in their lives. Recall and revive that defining moment.
Then with determination focus on the achievement of your goals that you may have abandoned.
You will score, whether it is in the 90th minute or added time, you will surely score.
You need a horse to ride, so look to local stories to inspire you. Remember today’s giants like Innscor started with one takeaway outlet in First Street Harare.
There is also the famous story that when Econet’s Strive Masiyiwa was first denied a license to operate, he jumped into his car with his colleagues and drove around Harare looking for office space to set up their headquarters!
They were “lighting a candle, instead of cursing the darkness”. It is the innerzela that every Zimbabwean has and needs to tap in to.
Whether you want to be the best mother ever or to climb that corporate ladder to the top, research and read about Kubi Indi, Zed Koudounaris, Shingi Mutasa, Nigel Chanakira, Manuel Baggoro, Oliver Mutukudzi, Stella Chiweshe and countless others to see whether you can apply some of what they did, in their own fields of endeavour, to your own situation.
You will find a common Innerzela thread running in them: inspiration and discipline, even in the face of failure.
What is your innerzela?
l Albert Gumbo is a member of the United States-Southern Africa Centre for Leadership and a motivational speaker.
He writes in his private capacity.