World Cup Opening Concert, Soweto, June 2010

The Kick-Off Celebration Concert
Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg
Thursday 10 June 2010

Whilst in South Africa for the World Cup, my very good friend, Stuart Scott, was lucky enough to be able to get a bunch of complimentary tickets for the opening concert and as he was staying at my sister’s house in Jo’burg, who better to take along ? 
Stuart, myself, my sister, Peta, and her three children, Mike, Matt and Emma squeezed into her people carrier and set off for Soweto.
The line-up looked good, combining the best of Africa with some of the top pop,soul and Latin acts from the west: 

The Artists

Alicia Keys
Angelique Kidjo
Amadou & Mariam
Black Eyed Peas
Blk Jks
Hugh Masekela
John Legend
Mzansi Youth Choir
Soweto Gospel Choir
The Parlotones
Vieux Farka Toure
Vusi Mahlasela

“We believe sports and music transcend cultural, language and geographic barriers, and through the official FIFA World Cup Kick–off Celebration Concert, Control Room will present the sights and sounds of unity and celebration for an unforgettable, must-see experience,” said Emmy Award-winning producer Kevin Wall, organiser of the concert.

All net proceeds from the concert will be donated to “20 Centres for 2010”, the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, which aims to build 20 centres across Africa offering education and healthcare services as well as football training to disadvantaged communities. 

“We are thrilled to have a concert of such magnitude and performing talent raise the curtain on the first FIFA World Cup on African soil,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke. “It is testament to the universal and unifying power of football and music and will start the competition off on the right note – of celebration.”



It was a beautiful night in Soweto:

And there were some very excited people about:

… though my niece Emma wasn’t happy it was so cold. I lent her my trusty Leeds United jacket which she begrudgingly wore, hoping none of her friends would see her ” … when I’m on TV ! “

The opening of the opening concert:

Leeds United legend and South African football hero, Lucas Radebe, is allowed to say a few (drunken) words:

Black Eyed Peas:

John Legend:

Alicia Keys:

Shakira (who mimed throughout!):

The post-concert fireworks, to send us on our way:


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