12 July 2010
A sell-out crowd inside Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium as well as an audience of hundreds of millions across the globe were wowed by a colourful ceremony on Sunday night to celebrate the successful conclusion of a memorable first Fifa World Cup on African soil.
As darkness descended on Johannesburg, the floodlights in the iconic arena were all dimmed before a squadron of Gripens from the South African Airforce flew over the calabash-shaped stadiums.
And with the giant screens at both ends of the stands running videos of comets and fireworks, South African musician Stoan Seate got the show started with a performance of “Sizodalala-la” while performers took to the centre of the field, dancing and forming the shape of a vuvuzela.
Having performed at the closing ceremony of Germany 2006 at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, Colombian pop star Shakira once again took centre stage, along with local fusion band Freshlyground, with the worldwide hit “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”.
Highlights of the group stage matches followed, before Seate returned to the stage with “Everywhere You Go”, joined by Africa United, comprising six other musicians from across the continent.
And with some key moments from the quarter-finals on display, the three-time Grammy Award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo made sure the crowd remained on their feet as the “Weather Song” filled the stadium as a safari scene was created, complete.
By the time Abigail Kubeka and Mafikzolo finished their performance, Soccer City’s celebrations were well under way, and the stage was set for the final match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.