Opening gig to dazzle world

WHEN the 2010 World Cup kicks off tomorrow, audiences around the world will be dazzled by the performances.

WHEN the 2010 World Cup kicks off tomorrow, audiences around the world will be dazzled by the performances.

Yesterday, a procession of 1500 performers moved from the Nasrec Expo Centre to Soccer City Stadium for their final dress rehearsal.

A group of dancers from Lenasia said they will be doing a fusion of African and modern dance.

"We started practising five weeks ago. It is so exciting. The opening ceremony is going to be exciting," said Hemali Khoosal.

Most dancers were reluctant to reveal details about their acts as they had signed a confidentiality agreement with the organisers.

Local Organising Committee marketing chief Derek Carstens said: "The opening ceremony is going to be great. More than 500million people around the world will be watching. We call it the opening celebration. It is themed 'Welcoming the World Home' because everyone has a bit of Africa in them."

The gates to the stadium open at 10am.

"The show will start at 2pm. People must be there because there will be a surprise in the seventh minute," Carstens said.

The show will last for 30 minutes and there will be performances by Thandiswa Mazwai, HHP and TKZee.

Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana said: "We will also have performances from the African Six Pack - Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa as a way of sharing our culture and heritage."

Vocalist Timothy Moloi will pay tribute to opera singer Simphiwe Ntshebe, who was due to perform at the ceremony. He died from meningitis two weeks ago.

Carstens urged fans to arrive early at the stadium.

City of Johannesburg's Sibongile Mazibuko encouraged fans to use the park-and-ride buses.

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