Musos blast Fifa over Cup event

2010-03-28 10:31

THE row surrounding the Fifa World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert

has deepened, with local artists and promoters demanding transparency for

cultural events during the tournament.

They accuse Fifa of undermining the local music industry and

denying them a rare opportunity – the chance to showcase local culture and music

during the tournament.

The concert, to be held on June 10 at Orlando Stadium, will be

broadcast live to millions throughout the world. It will feature only three

local acts – Vusi Mahlasela, The Parlotones and BLK JKS.

The Music Industry Federation of South Africa (Mifsa) said R120

million has been set aside by the arts and culture ministry for the opening and

closing ceremonies.

Mifsa spokesperson Mandla Maseko said they wanted transparency in

the procurement process.

He said: “We want to ensure that there is no major disparity in

regard to what international artists are paid compared to local artists.”

Local artists also demanded all World Cup cultural events include

80% local and African artists and ­radio and TV programming during the World Cup

to have 100% local content. They were also considering mass action and staging

their own music show if they failed to get redress for their grievances.

Mabutho ‘Kid’ Sithole, president of the Creative Workers Union of

SA (CWUSA), said they would lobby taxi organisations, civic groups, hawkers, the

SA Communist Party and Cosatu to ensure that creative workers and ordinary South

Africans benefit from the World Cup.

He added that they would put pressure on the Local Organising

Committee (LOC) and Fifa to include “local and African cultural workers” in

their cultural events.

Kwaito star Arthur Mafokate called on the arts and culture

­department to be decisive and protect local artists so they could get an

opportunity to show the world their culture and heritage.

Said Mafokate: “It will be a sad day for this country if such an

event passes us by. Such a thing must ­never be allowed to happen.”

Mzwakhe Mbuli echoed the same sentiments: “The World Cup will be on

African soil and it is an honour for South Africans. But we are being undermined

and insulted and we are gatvol.”

He said the show should not be staged in Soweto but rather in

Sandton because of the musical line-up and the expensive tickets.

Angry artists and promoters from as far as Limpopo, Mpumalanga and

Free State were at pains to explain that they were not against Control Room, the

Los Angeles-based company that will stage the show.

Singer and actor Mara Louw said: “We are not against Americans but

we want locals and Africans to have more representation and an opportunity to

showcase their talent and culture.”

Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana came out in support of the

artists. She said: “It is not fair that mainly artists from outside the country

and the continent should welcome our guests.”

Xingwana’s spokesperson, Siphiwo Matshoba, said though Fifa had a

say in most matters related to the World Cup, they would try to reach some

negotiated settlement. The ministry will be calling a meeting with the LOC to

discuss the matter.

Hazel Feldman of Showtime Promotions, which has been appointed as

the South African promoter by Control Room, said she was waiting for the

LA-based company to decide on the creative content for the show and how it would

be structured. She said she would know which additional artists would be

included once the process was completed.

Civil society organisations and political parties came out in

support of local musicians.

SACP central committee member Solly Mapaila said they supported

CWUSA because the event was an African World Cup.

ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivhambu said they would be

meeting the LOC and have taken up the issue with the SA Football Federation.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick ­Craven said they stood behind CWUSA’s


List of performers:

  1. Alicia Keys
  2. Amadou & Mariam
  3. Angélique Kidjo
  4. Black Eyed Peas
  5. BLK JKS
  6. John Legend
  7. Juanes, Shakira
  8. The Parlotones
  9. Tinariwen
  10. Vieux Farka Touré
  11. Vusi Mahlasela
These artists will perform at the historic event taking place the night before the first match at 8 p.m. on June 10, 2010, at the newly-renovated Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

Ticket information:

Tickets for the concert can be purchased , either online at Computicket or by telephone on 083 915 8000.

Tickets are priced at

  • R450 (Outer Circle standing)
  • R650 (Inner Circle standing)
  • R850 and R950 (Upper Level seated) and
  • R 1 150 (Lower Level seated).

Ticket prices include VAT, Computicket charges and Park & Ride for all ticket-holders.

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