afcon 2013 AFCON opens with the beat of africa, featuring Lira, Oumou Sangare and others

The Orange Africa Cup of Nations kicked off in true African Style in Johannesburg this afternoon. Not even the heavy downpours that rained over the city could stop Africa?s party from taking place. In Ancient Africa, The Beat of the African drum heralded various events. Depending on the beat, it could be a call to arms or a call for everyone to gather around for an imbizo. When The Heavens Open up Overhead, that meeting has been blessed ? Rain in Africa is regarded as a positive Omen ? blessings from the Forefathers. 

The Opening Ceremony of AFCON 2013 embraced exactly that, from the Father of the Land Nelson Mandela, to the Class of 1996, South Africa?s African Cup of Nations team who won this very same tournament exactly 17 years ago. The ceremony was short and sweet, the heavy rain putting paid to preparations which had gone on for months by the more than 570 performers. The ceremony pulled out some of Africa?s most gifted artists including:  ?The Songbird of Wassoulou? Grammy Award winner, Oumou Sangare of Mali,  South African vocalists Judith Sephuma,  Lira,  Siphokazi and Ayanda Nhlangothi, Kenya?s artist-activist Eric Wainana, South African Afurukan ? a spoken word  artist, and South Africa?s very own musical treasures –  Sipho ?Hotstix? Mabuse, and crooner, Ringo Madlingozi.

The vibrant opening ceremony, themed ?Celebrate Africa ? The Beat at Africa?s Feet!? was followed the tournament opener between Bafana Bafana and debutants Cape Verde but sadly the host nation were held to a 0-0 draw by the debutants.  followed by Angola versus Morocco later in the evening.

Meanwhile, it?s been slow in coming, but AFCON fever has finally reached Nelson Mandela Bay. Group B favourites Ghana, are proving to be hot property off the field as well. The ?Black Stars of Africa? take on the Democratic Republic of Congo in the first of a double header in the city tomorrow AFCON fever has hit Port Elizabeth unfortunately it does not reflect in the ticket sales. Just over 20 000 have been sold for tomorrow double header.

The welcome has been warm with the friendly city living up to its name. Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan says the fans have shown their appreciation to the team and the reception is good. ?I saw many Ghanaians at the airport it is a surprise I thank them for their reception,? said Gyan.

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