Cape Town — Top jazz guitarist Jimmy Dludlu and house music trio Mi Casa are among a number of artists set to perform at the opening ceremony of the third Africa Nations Championship on Saturday, in what singer and musical director Sibongile Khumalo has promised will be better than the opening ceremony of Afcon 2013.
“You need to be there and experience it… Trust me you will be pleasantly surprised,” said Khumalo.
The line-up for the opening ceremony, which starts at 3pm on Saturday at the Cape Town Stadium, was announced at a media briefing today and also includes acapella group The Soil, praise singer Zolani Mkiva and singer Jessica Mbangeni.
Khumalo said the ceremony would be targeted at young people, adding that preparations involved dance, costuming and a multi-media presentation.
She said funding limitations had made it more difficult to source African artists outside of the country.
Mvuzo Mbebe, the chief executive of the local organising committee, said more than 10 000 tickets – including those in stands and complementary tickets – had so far been printed.
The Department of Arts and Culture’s deputy director general of promotion and development, Monica Newton, said the opening ceremony would help the department to promote local artists.
“We see this as an incredibly important opportunity to promote reconciliation, nation-building and social-cohesion,” said Newton, adding that sports and arts and culture were unique in that they could create shared experience among South Africans.
In line with this the department is looking to team up with more sporting events as a way to promote local arts and culture, she said.
Following the opening ceremony fans will on the same day be able to watch the first match – between hosts South Africa and Mozambique.
In all, 32 matches will be played on 16 match days at four stadiums – at Polokwane, Bloemfontein and in Cape Town at Athlone Stadium and in the Cape Town Stadium.
Dedicated trains as well as 45 dedicated buses will be available for all four stadiums to transport fans.
A luxury train will run between Johannesburg and Cape Town priced at R10 500 and another between Johannesburg and Bloemfontein at R4 500 – with the price including accommodation onboard during the match day.
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