Originally made out of tin, the vuvuzela became popular in South Africa in the 1990s. Well-known Kaizer Chiefs FC fan Freddie “Saddam” Maake claims to have invented the vuvuzela by adapting an aluminium version as early as 1965 from a bicycle horn after removing the black rubber to blow with his mouth. He later found it to be too short and joined a pipe to make it longer. Maake has photos of him in the 1970s and 1980s at local South African games and international games in 1992 and 1996 and at the 1998 World Cup in France, holding the aluminium vuvuzela. He says the instrument was banned as authorities ruled it a dangerous weapon, which prompted him to find a plastic company that could manufacture it.

In 2001, South Africa-based company Masincedane Sport began to mass-produce a plastic version.Neil van Schalkwyk, the co-owner of Masincedane Sport, won the SAB KickStart Award in 2001.

Vuvuzelas have been said to be rooted in African history, but this is disputed. People would blow on a kudu horn to call villagers to a meeting. Adding to the appeal is South African folklore that “A baboon is killed by a lot of noise. During the last quarter of a match, supporters blow vuvuzelas frantically in an attempt to “kill off” their opponents.

Source: Wikipedia