Stars shine at 46664 Joburg

4 December 2007

The 46664 concert at Ellis Park Stadium on World Aids Day will go down in history as one of the most spectacular music shows ever held in Johannesburg.

Thousands of people turned up for the concert to give their support to the HIV/Aids campaign. And Peter Gabriel, Johnny Clegg, the Soweto Gospel Choir and a host of other local and international musicians put on a sterling performance.

From a cool start, the day turned out beautifully, with a festive atmosphere pervading the concert grounds. By noon, the stadium was abuzz with fans eager to savour every minute of the show.

At exactly 2pm, the rock group Cassette opened the floodgates, wowing the crowd with heavy metal sounds. The band was followed by other local acts Prime Circle and Louise Carver, who also sent fans into raptures.

Next on stage – a magnificent set with a rotating inner platform – was one of the most popular South Africans bands, Freshlyground, which opened with the smash hit “Pot Belly”. Then it was Peter Gabriel’s turn. Together with the Soweto Gospel Choir, the British superstar performed his hit song “Biko”, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

During the break, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka delivered an Aids message and encouraged people put all their resources together in the fight against the pandemic.

Performing arguably one of his best shows ever, Johnny Clegg and his Zulu dance troupe opened with “Isoka Liyatatazela”, a catchy song that had fans clapping and stomping along with the dancers. Clegg sang his all-time hits “Impi” and “Asimbonanga”, and then the man people had been waiting to see on stage appeared.

Mandela, with wife Graca Machel by his side, walked on to the stage with all the performing artists and the crowd erupted. He urged people to support the 46664 concerts and help those afflicted with and affected by HIV/Aids.

The acts that followed Madiba’s speech added more spice to an already hot show, with Annie Lennox, Danny K, Vusi Mahlasela, Jamali, Jamelia and Angelique Kidjo pumping out hit after hit.

Vuyo and Thandeka Joseph, who had come all the way from Cape Town to attend the concert, said the show was one of the most exciting they had attended. However, they lamented the poor attendance of black people.

46664 ambassador and supermodel Naomi Campbell also gave a message and reiterated the call by Mandela and Mlambo-Ngcuka to fight Aids.

At a fund-raising Joburg 46664 luncheon on Friday, Campbell auctioned the dress she was wearing for R120 000. An artwork of Mandela’s handprint went for R150 000 and a piece containing all artists performing at the 2007 46664 concert sold for R130 000.

Also at the luncheon, Masondo handed over a bronze hand to a representative from the city of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, where the next 46664 concert will be held.

Source: City of Johannesburg