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Rediff.com  » Sports » Shakira, Keys sizzle at FIFA World Cup concert

Shakira, Keys sizzle at FIFA World Cup concert

Last updated on: June 11, 2010 09:17 IST

Shakira, Keys perform at kick-off concert

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The small township of Soweto was rocked by some of the biggest names in the music industry, like Shakira, the Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys, in a concert to kick-off the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The stars performed on the eve of Africa's first World Cup at in a jam-packed Orlando stadium.

Tens of thousands of people braved temperatures below 10 degrees in Johannesburg, where K'naan stole the show with his football anthem Wavin' Flag.

Long after he left the stage, the crowd was still chanting "Oh, oh, oh."

President Jacob Zuma told the 34,000 capacity crowd, "South Africa is rocking, South Africa is cool."


Image: Shakira performs during the opening concert for the 2010 World Cup at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto
Photographs: Reuters
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Shakira mesmerises one and all

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Shakira, wearing an animal print, waka waka-ed the anthem and dance of the World Cup.

Dressed in a zebra print leotard and an ostrich plume skirt, the diva from Barranquilla gave a sizzling performance of She Wolf followed by famous Hips don't lie, which made the crowd dance to her tune.

Besides Shakira, Tinariwen brought the sounds of Mali's desert nomads to the mix, while the crowd swayed to Alica Keys, and did the toyi-toyi the protest dance of the apartheid era.


Image: Shakira performs at the kick-off ceremony

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'Africa is the cradle of humanity'

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in a yellow national jersey, scarf and hat on stage led the crowd in cheers for Nelson Mandela, who is credited with sealing South Africa's bid to host the World Cup.

Tutu also acknowledged the fans from around the world who have come to South Africa for football's premier event.

"We welcome you all. For Africa is the cradle of humanity, so we welcome you home," he said.

Meanwhile, Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the local World Cup organizing committee, kept repeating: "The waiting is over, the waiting is over."

South African President Jacob Zuma and FIFA President Sepp Blatter also joined in the party in Johannesburg's Soweto township, calling for unity for the duration of the World Cup.

"Africa is showing the world that it is capable of holding any matter (event) of the world like any other region. Africa is hosting this tournament, South Africa is just the stage," said Zuma.


Image: South Africa's President Jacob Zuma speaks during the opening concert for the 2010 World Cup

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'Blacks can do it!'

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The month-long event kicks-off with hosts South Africa taking on Mexico. The organizers called the concert and the first game triumphs after questions raised over the country's ability to conduct a world-class event.

"This is a showcase," concertgoer Nana Masithela said as she entered Orlando on Thursday. "We are showcasing ourselves, to say, 'Blacks can do it!' ".


Image: Amadou and Mariam perform during the opening concert for the 2010 World Cup

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