World Cup excitement is building here in Johannesburg ahead of Friday’s opening match at the football fiesta between Mexico and host South Africa. The South African team, nicknamed “Bafana Bafana,” was paraded through the streets of Johannesburg on Wednesday. Car horns and vuvuzelas blared, and I could see many of the vehicles were adorned with South African national flags.
I arrived in Johannesburg on 8 June via a 16-hour Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta. There were quite a few Mexican fans on the flight, and a few times they broke out in “Ole! Ole!,” as they looked forward to Friday’s encounter with the South Africans.
VOA Correspondent Scott Bobb and I attended a news conference Wednesday by World Cup organizers near Soccer City, the venue for Friday’s South Africa-Mexico game. They discussed the 30-minute World Cup opening ceremony, which will feature nearly 600 artists, dancers, musicians and performers. Among the performers who will be on stage are multiple Grammy Award winner R Kelly, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and Nigerian star Femi Kuti.