Fantastic African music was at the centre of the closing ceremony of the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) as top musicians L’Algerino, Ckay and Zaho kept fans on their feet before final between Algeria and Senegal on Saturday.
The artistes raised the temperature of the the Nelson Mandela Stadium just before the start of football game with their performances that effortlessly linked the game with entertainment.
Cobtan, the official mascot of the competition, opened the show at 6:30PM when he took to the stage and excited the crowd moving in the rhythm of Maghreb United. The north stand responded to the south stand with “huh” as the entire stadium responded to its rallying cry.
A solemn moment of the evening followed as the presidential band was paraded on pitch and played Algerian national anthem: the Kassaman.
The stadium sang in unison, going up a notch during the last two verses “For we have decided that Algeria will live. Be a witness to this! Be a witness to it! Be a witness!”.
Indeed, the fans witnessed a beautiful celebration. After the fanfare, it was time for urban music, with l’Algérino. Born in Marseille, the rapper made a real declaration of love to the land of his ancestors with his song “Algérie mi amor”. He was joined 40,784 spectators in the stadium.
Then Nigerian hit artiste at the moment: Ckay brought Afrobeat into the party. The star from Kaduna entertained the fans with his biggest hit “Emiliana”, whose video on the Internet has more 300 million views so far.
A great lady was needed to close this ceremony. Dressed in a beautiful pink outfit, Zaho performed a series of vocals. The girl from Bab Ezzouar, a town near Baraki, was at home. The Algerian offered her global hit “Laissez-les khouma”, an anthem for African youths these days.
She left the stage to the cries of the famous “One, two, three, viva l’Algérie!”, Zaho offered some words of encouragement to her national team, Algeria.
The last fireworks went up at 7.41pm before three Algerian goalkeepers Alexis Gendouz, Farid Chaâl and Chamseddine Rahmani entered the field. The second part of the evening started.