Soweto gears up for big 2010 party

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pretoria - Thousands of people will this afternoon gather at Orlando Stadium in Soweto for the Pre-World Cup concert organised by FIFA.

Several roads leading to the stadium are expected to be closed to the general public in anticipation of the scores of buses that will be ferrying people from Nasrec to the concert venue from 2pm.

Organisers of the concert on Wednesday vowed to put together a party bigger even bigger than Academy Awards. Several players, including a "well-known" Bafana Bafana star, will act as presenters and will introduce the artists and performances.

Several of the top international artists who will be performing were paraded at Soccer City Stadium on Wednesday and have all promised to pull a stunning show.

The concert will be broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide and it's the first of this magnitude to be organised by FIFA.

Millions of television viewers around the world can look forward to performances from well know names such as popular United States R&B singer John Legend, Nigeria's Angelique Kijo, Shakira, Hugh Masekela, the Black Eyed Peas, Vusi Mahlasela, Freshly Ground, Lira, the Soweto Gospel Choir and rock band the Parlotones, Alicia Keys and the Black Jack, among others.

Legend, speaking at Soccer City on Wednesday, described the feeling of performing at the concert associated with Africa's first soccer world cup as "a dream come true" for him. "I'm very excited. It's hard to describe the feeling, you know. The great thing about music is that it brings people together. Music is a universal language and sports are universal and it's only fitting that we do this concert," Legend said. of the Black Eyed Peas said: "We love football and we love music and coming here means so much to us; it means the world," he said.

Freshly Ground's Zolani said the group had been working very hard in the past few weeks and have promised a stunning performance to drive the Orlando Stadium wild. "It's going to be fantastic. We are so looking forward to do the collaboration with Shakira in our own country. It's going to be wonderful," said Zolani.

The concert starts at 4pm with a live broadcast for television stations worldwide scheduled to start at 8pm and those who will be attending have been urged to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion.