The nine artists contracted to perform at the Orange Africa Cup of Nations South Africa 2013 Opening Ceremony, are ‚ÄėThe Songbird of Wassoulou‚Äô Grammy Award winner, Oumou Sangare of Mali, South African vocalists Judith Sephuma, Lira, Siphokazi and Ayanda Nhlangothi, Kenya‚Äôs artist-activist Eric Wainana, South African Afurukan ‚Äď a spoken word artist, and South Africa‚Äôs very own musical treasures - Sipho ‚ÄėHotstix‚Äô Mabuse and crooner, Ringo Madlingozi.
‚ÄúProducing an opening ceremony for Africa‚Äôs largest soccer spectacular is nothing short of a thrill,‚ÄĚ enthuses Hlubi Kwebulana, VWV event producer said, ‚ÄúWorking with artists of this caliber is definitely a highlight! The commitment, focus and creativity each artist brought to the project, and the way they bought into our vision of the Opening Ceremony ‚Äď they‚Äôve been a complete joy to work with! They‚Äôre definitely going to blow everyone away!‚ÄĚ
Representing different parts of the African continent that ultimately come together in a show of African pride and unity, the artists are certainly excited about their participation‚Ä¶
‚ÄúMy music and artistry represents Africa ‚Äď everything I do musically is a reflection of my roots, and my reality as an African. That‚Äôs why I‚Äôm so proud to be a part of this ceremony ‚Äď the creative concept affirms my pride in being an African.‚ÄĚ Comments Oumou Sangare, ‚ÄúI‚Äôve played on stages worldwide, and it feels so good to be part of an African celebration, performing in front of a huge African audience ‚Äď it‚Äôs going to be an unforgettable day!‚ÄĚ
Wordsmith Afurakan is excited about the spoken-word flavour he‚Äôll be bringing to the performance, ‚ÄúA performance like this is a dream project!‚ÄĚ he enthuses ‚ÄúA gathering of Africans, the best of our soccer talent, an incredible roster of African artists and a mind-blowing show ‚Äď as the only spoken-word artist who‚Äôs a part of this collective of artists, it‚Äôs a real honour to be involved.‚ÄĚ
Ringo‚Äôs excitement about performing right before the tournament‚Äôs kick-off is palpable ‚ÄúLike any self-respecting African, I‚Äôm a real soccer enthusiast, so being part of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations South Africa 2013 Opening Ceremony is a huge honour!‚ÄĚ he exclaims. ‚ÄúThe creative treatment on this ceremony is fantastic, a beautiful representation of our continent‚Äôs many faces. I can‚Äôt wait for everyone to finally watch everything we‚Äôve been working so hard on ‚Äď they‚Äôll be amazed!‚ÄĚ
Award-winning artist Lira says ‚ÄúThe year has only started, and already I‚Äôm having such an incredible time. This is my favourite kind of celebration, collaborating with an A-list roster of artists from around the continent, and being a part of Africa‚Äôs most prestigious soccer tournament! Watch out everyone ‚Äď Saturday, 19th of Jan is going to ROCK!‚ÄĚ
Eric Wainana comments ‚ÄúThe ceremony is definitely going to be Africa‚Äôs party of the year! All eyes are going to be on the National Stadium, and it feels great to be part of this spectacle! Being part of a production of this magnitude is an artists‚Äô dream ‚Äď and when it happens in front of a huge African audience, it‚Äôs priceless! Afcon represents a great opportunity for Africans to unite in their love for the beautiful game, as the ceremony will demonstrate. I can‚Äôt wait to everyone to see it!‚ÄĚ
No less excited is vocalist Ayanda Nhlangothi ‚ÄúI love working on large productions that tell a great story ‚Äď and this one‚Äôs right up there with them!‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúBeing able to collaborate with artists I have so much respect for, in telling a quintessentially African story ‚Äď it‚Äôs been an amazing experience‚ÄĚ
One of South Africa‚Äôs most beloved sons, Sipho ‚ÄėHotstix‚Äô Mabuse will also be part of the celebrations. ‚ÄúAfrica celebrates‚Äô its own ‚Äď proud and victorious.‚ÄĚ He muses. I am ‚Äď we are ‚Äď One in the name of this glorious, beautiful game ‚Äď it‚Äôs bound to be explosive, I can hardly wait!‚ÄĚ
Vocalist Siphokazi is equally thrilled to be participating, commenting that ‚ÄúSince my career began, I‚Äôve been fortunate enough to travel to different countries on our beautiful continent, sharing the sounds of South Africa with them ‚Äď I can‚Äôt wait to play host to my fellow African artists here, as part of a show that‚Äôs all about African pride and unity!‚ÄĚ
Judith Sephuma added: ‚ÄúThis is the best way to start the New Year! The audience is going to love what the team‚Äôs put together for them in the Opening Ceremony ‚Äď a true African story! Definitely one for the books!‚ÄĚ
A fitting kick-off to the highly anticipated tournament, the ceremony‚Äôs been mindful to include a mix of both established and emerging talent to form part of the celebration ‚Äďmaking a proud reality of the words Celebrate Africa ‚Äď The Beat at Africa‚Äôs Feet!