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Afcon 2013 opening ceremony kicks off

The 2013 Afcon opening ceremony kicked off with a music and dance spectacle at the National Stadium.

The opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations took place at the National Stadium, on the 19th of January, 2013. Picture: SAPA stringer

JOHANNESBURG - The opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations kicked off in a music and dance spectacle, featuring artists like Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, Sibongile Khumalo and Judith Sephuma, amongst others.

The ceremony got underway just after 4pm at the National Stadium in Johannesburg.

Despite the rain, which turned away a few supporters, the colourful spectacle got underway as planned.

The theme of the entire ceremony is "the beat at Africa's beat."

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has told heads of state who are attending the Africa Cup of Nations that South Africa will not fail the continent.

Afcon is the first major football tournament that South Africa is hosting since the 2010 world cup.

This is the second Afcon tournament to be hosted on South African shores, since 1996 when Bafana Bafana were crowned African champions.

The opening ceremony will be followed by Bafana Bafana's match against Cape Verde later on.

'USE PARK-AND-RIDE FACILITIES'

Traffic officials have warned motorists roads around the Soweto stadium will be closed from noon.

Sections of Nasrec and Rand Show roads, as well as the Soweto Highway from Booysens to the N1 Highway south on-ramp and are only set to reopen after 10pm.

Gauteng traffic police spokesperson Obed Sibasa urged the almost 90, 000 soccer lovers attending today's matches to make use of transport services organised by the LOC

Outside the stadium, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) dealt with heavy traffic volumes.

The metro police's Wayne Minnaar said they were dealing with motorists who were trying to gain access to the stadium without pre-paid parking tickets.

"Traffic is already congested on the N17 going to the stadium.

"We are calling on fans not to go to the stadium if they don't have a pre-paid ticket."