Lights, Camera, Kick-Off
The Word Cup kicked off on Friday with a breathtaking visual spectacular at the opening ceremony in South Africa. Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium rang out to the sound of music and cheering as the 19th edition of the FIFA tournament roared into life.
An array of 1,581 artists entertained the crowd with a sequence of African inspired themes. After an aerial display by the South African air force followed by a group of drummers and dancers performed a Welcome to Africa song that included an introduction to all 10 of tournament’s venues. And who could miss the giant dung beetle showing off it’s football skills.
Musicians and artists from the other African finalist countries also had their chance to perform in a joint sequence with R&B star R Kelly singing the ceremony’s show piece song, Sign of a Victory.
The opening ceremony concluded with a display of flags from the 176 competing member countries that failed to qualify, surrounding those who did, with voices of children sounding out the names f all the 32 qualifiers and then uniting to form a human version of the official tournament logo.
Local South Africans believe their team, known as Bafana Bafana could lift the trophy – their secret weapon – the vuvuzela.
Sharon Brooke – www.urban-africa.co.uk