Opening Ceremony gets underway

Friday, June 11, 2010

Johannesburg - After six years of waiting, the much anticipated first 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first to be held on African soil, opened at 2pm, with all the promised pomp, splendor and colour.

A large crowd at Johannesburg's Soccer City Stadium, as well as viewers all over the world, are being entertained by artists from different parts of the continent in true African style in the Opening Ceremony that is themed "Welcoming the World Home".

They are reveling to the sounds of trumpeter Hugh Masekela, charismatic Nigerian star Femi Kuti, who performed the famous 'Bang, Bang, Bang' track, Algerian Afro-pop artist Khaled, legendary Ghanaian band Osibisa, as well as top-class South African artists Thandiswa Mazwai, Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP), TKZee and vocalist Timothy Moloi, among others.

Multiple Grammy Award winner R Kelly, wooed the crowd with the ceremony's showpiece song, 'Sign of a Victory' with South Africa's Soweto Spiritual Singers.

A sea of green and yellow soccer fans are still entering into the magnificent calabash-shaped stadium with calm and excitement.

Fans are being dropped off at the doorstep of the stadium by buses, taxis and trains from the Park and Ride, while others are using the park and walk initiatives.

There is a heavy police presence in and around the stadium, while the South African Air Force is keeping a close eye by air.

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