After spending billions of Rand getting ready and after six years of waiting, the moment everyone was waiting for finally arrived. Last night in Soweto, South Africa, famous artists and celebrities kicked off of the continent’s first ever World Cup.

When the Rainbow Nation was awarded the tournament in 2004, people suspected it was a big mistake. Considering the high levels of crimes and bad infrastructure, they were scared South Africa would not be able to pull off.

But S.A sure proved them wrong. Everything was finished on time, from the 10 stadiums to Africa’s first high-speed rail link.

Nelson Mandela, former president argued that the World Cup :

“(…) had the power to bridge the divisions that still remain in South African society. The 2010 World Cup is more than just a simple game. It symbolises the power of football to bring people together regardless of their language, colour of their skin, their politics or religion.”

Last night, millions of viewers around the world watched the four hour long event which included many globally known stars. Performing was Shakira, Juanes, Alicia Keys, John Legend and African singers Vushsi Malasela and Angelique Kidjo.

Even though Columbia did not manage to qualify for the World Cup, Shakira and Juanes, the two Colombian singers sure did make their country proud. Pop singer Juanes took to the stage first to perform “La Camisa Negra”, his well known hit in front of the 30,000 people – he definitely warmed up the crowd .

The Black Eyed Peas followed with Fergie, dressed in an extravagant gladiator-style outfit showing her legs off in a black, gold and silver costume along with huge shoulder pads and shiny breast plates. The band sang their famous hit “Where is the Love”.

Shakira perfomed the closing set, dressed in a Cavalli zebra print leotard topped off with an ostrich plume skirt. Starting with “The Hips Don’t Lie”, her dancing made the crowd go crazy. She then sang the official World Cup anthem “Waka Waka”.

No doubt last night’s concert has set the tone for what will be a world-gripping tournament!