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South African Artists Left Out In Forthcoming World Cup

By Suparna Chakaraborthy

South African artists, have protested against being left out in the opening ceremony of the forthcoming World Cup. In their own land the ceremony has been designed in favour of foreign acts.

Musicians were protesting against being sidelined by Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas and Shakira for the event in June, insisting lack of local talent would make a mockery of the South African World Cup.

Actor Mabutho Sithole said, "It is not as though we want second-rate performers to replace the Americans. Performers such as Johnny Clegg, the Soweto Gospel Choir and Ladysmith Black Mambazo – can stand head and shoulders alongside them.''

A march on the Johannesburg offices of the local organising committee is being planned on April 15 to protest the preference given to artists of foreign origins.

Sithole said: "If we cannot use our World Cup as a showcase for our artists, what can we use? We're not saying the foreign artists are unwelcome, just that we should have 50 per cent South Africans, 30 per cent from the rest of Africa and maybe 20 per cent from the rest of the world.

The South African department of arts and culture said it "supports the outcry from artists about the dearth of South African artists at the 10 June concert."

Read more about: singer shakira black eyed peas
Story first published: Monday, March 29, 2010, 10:28 [IST]
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