Orlando Stadium at fever pitch

2010-06-10 00:00

IT will finally get underway tomorrow when South African citizens join together in their support of Bafana Bafana, as “The Boys” take on Mexico in their crucial 2010 Fifa World Cup opener.

Years of analysing the country’s preparations will fall away to the magnitude of the event at hand. Regardless of the result, tomorrow will be a momentous occasion for both the country and the continent, and to be a part of such an occasion certainly warrants celebration.

And that is exactly what tonight’s Kick-Off Celebration Concert at Soweto’s Orlando Stadium will be, as international and local superstars unite in a three-hour extravaganza in one of the biggest entertainment events that Africa has ever seen.

Shakira, Alicia Keys, John Legend and The Black Eyed Peas make up the international megastars who will perform in front of 30 000 people at the venue that hosted this year’s all South African Super 14 final.

Shakira’s Waka Waka, which she performs with local act Freshlyground, is the tournament’s official song and will certainly be performed at the concert. The Colombian singer arrived in the country on Monday.

Somali-born singer K’NAAN, will also be performing and many will be anticipating hearing his smash hit and World Cup anthem, Wavin’ Flag.

The evening will also provide a stage for numerous local acts and, for many of them, this will be the biggest night of their careers. Freshlyground, Tuli Molekane, Loyiso Bala, Lira, Kwani Experience, The Soweto Gospel Choir and Hugh Masekela will all be among the local acts that will be performing during the evening.

Kevin Wall, the founder of Control Room, the production company overseeing the concert which also produced the Live Earth concert in London in 2007, said the Orlando event will be presented by footballers.

“Some are in the competition and some are of an iconic nature, including a very famous South African who will be first on stage.

“What makes this concert unique is the stadium’s placing in Soweto, which obviously has its own story as a township and is world famous.

“It’s not just a tribute to the World Cup, but also to Africa. The films we have produced and the artists playing will create this atmosphere.”

The concert begins at 8 pm tonight and it will be broadcast to millions of viewers around the world, being shown locally on SABC 1 and Supersport 3.

The proceeds made from the show will be donated to the “20 Centres for Africa” movement, Fifa’s official 2010 World Cup campaign.

The aim of the initiative is to see 20 centres built across Africa that will offer education and health care services, as well as football training, to disadvantaged communities.

Blitz News – 2010 Fifa World Cup (live): Supersport 3 at 7 am — A live broadcast of news impacting the World Cup tournament.

World Cup Moments of Greatness: SABC 1 at 10 am — A show highlighting some of the finest moments in World Cup history.

Woza Lunchtime (live): Supersport 3 at noon — A show that merges football and the glamour of the World Cup. High profile hosts including Bobby Skinstad and Elana Afrika.

The Harambee Show (live): Supersport 3 at 7 pm — A show that takes a deep look into the World Cup. Includes team and player analysis.

2010 Fifa World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert (live): SABC 1 and Supersport 3 at 8 pm.

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