Artists ready to stun at the Afcon opening

PROUD: Ringo Madlingozi, Sibongile Khumalo, Siphokazi Mohapi, Sipho Mabuse and Ayanda Nhlangothi are some of the artists to perform at the Africa Cup of Nations at the National Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg. PHOTO MOHAU MOFOKENG
PROUD: Ringo Madlingozi, Sibongile Khumalo, Siphokazi Mohapi, Sipho Mabuse and Ayanda Nhlangothi are some of the artists to perform at the Africa Cup of Nations at the National Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg. PHOTO MOHAU MOFOKENG

AFRICA's biggest soccer spectacle, the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), will open with a star studded artist line-up on Saturday.

One of the performers is heavily pregnant afro-pop singer Siphokazi Mohapi who says though she has little knowledge of soccer, she is honoured to be part of the line-up.

"I am going to perform as a soloist and then as part of the group of artists at the end of the opening ceremony. The song is titled Sisebenzela and it was composed by Mam Sibongile Khumalo.

"This is big for me and I am blessed to be able to share my talent on such a bigger stage," says Mohapi.

Legendary singer Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse says there is no greater feeling than representing one's country as a musician.

"This is a big gig for me and I want everyone to come to the stadium to witness the spectacle," Mabuse says.

He adds that in his heyday he used to play soccer.

"I was a midfielder and I love soccer," Mabuse says.

Kenya's artist-come-activist Eric Wainana says: "It is wonderful and when I got that call, I said I will even postpone my own funeral to be part of this event. I am beyond excited."

Singer, composer and songwriter Khumalo says that as a woman she is truly honoured to be the musical director for the music shows.

"It is a big deal for me and women in the music industry to work on this project. I co-composed the music for the opening and closing ceremonies with Kunle Ayo and Mdu Mtshali," Khumalo says.

A wild card artist added to the line-up is Idols 2002 finalist Ayanda Nhlangothi.

"It has been over 10 years since I released my debut album, but as a vocalist I have always sung over the years.

"I am still shocked that I am part of the opening ceremony, I am looking forward to sharing my talent with the African continent and my fans at home," Nhlangothi says.

She says she is working on a new album this year.

Other artists billed in the line-up include Judith Sephuma, Lira, Afurukan, Ringo Madlingozi and Oumou Sangare.

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