Reuters Soccer Blog
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Orlando in Soweto provided the venue for the first ever FIFA World Cup Kick Off Concert. And what a night it was. This whole week I was soothed to sleep by the sounds of night rehearsals by the artists who were preparing at Orlando Stadium, which is about five minutes away from my home.
People braved the cold Highveld weather….it is June after all….and came in their thousands. Angelique Kidjo, who is a bundle of endless energy, danced around the stage with much zest. John Legend brought the house down with his rendition of “Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ “classic “Wake up everybody”. Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing in the grass” added the Kofifi flavour and later local RnB sensation Lira paid tribute to Miriam Makeba with “Pata Pata”.
Alicia Keys sent the crowd into raptures by channeling her inner Brenda Fassie with the Blck Jcks taking on the role of the Big Dudes in their performance of South African Classic “Too late for Mama”. But the crowd favourites K’naan and Shakira shut it down with their World Cup anthems “Wavin flag” and “Waka Waka”.
There were many celebrity appearances, the most notable, in my opinion, being that of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. His lively and yellow clad self had the crowd chanting “Tutu, Tutu, Tutu”. It is finally here….in our back yard….wow!!!!