CAN ’10 — Opening Ceremonies!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Steven Villereal on January 10, 2010

Bem Vindo!!! Today is the day…2010 African Cup of Nations is set to kick off! Hosts Angola will get underway against Mali here—but first, some Opening Ceremonies!

12:50 EST: The inaugural event held in the 11 De Novembro stadium in Luanda is looking fairly well-attended! Angolan Presidnet Jose Eduardo Dos Santos is currently addressing the crowd… nothing political in the speech (no “Cabinda will be brought under control!!!”) though the Togo attack was of course acknowledged.

12:58 EST: The fullblown opening ceremonies spectacle has begun! Apologies for the grainy pics I’ll be bringing you. So far flags and massive national mini-globes are trotted out, and  a massive one tarp is out on the pitch, serving as the screen for a light show.

13:06 EST: Woahhh, the white tarp has been lifted into the air and has becoming a backdrop for a ethno-archeaological journey through Angolan history. We soared really quickly through some sort of paleolithic era…damn, now we are getting to colonial times. The huge screen just read INVASÃO & RESISTENCIA…but the dancers seemed to be enacting a benign conversion ritual, spearheaded by a peaceful monk. I think we are still in the 16th century though here? Phew, and now we are on to LUTA & LIBERACÃO! This interpretive historical dance drama is admittedly over my head…though clearly some machete-wielding civil war symbolic pantomime is in effect (dancers now in stylish sleeveless fatigues here!)

13:15 EST: Wish I had some screen grabs from the independence portion of that interpretative dance show…dancers running around, prominently displaying paper documents, the machete-wielding dancers graaaadually dissipating. We’ve moved into typical fireworks, smoke machine, modest lazer territory here. Screens are now displaying a wealth of Angolan natural resources to be harvested…look at those trabalhador dancers!

13:23 EST: The English announcer I have here on my feed (watching via myafricanfootball.com—since we are now proper journalists we have an online PPV package!) is, as they say in his country, a bit of a muppet (and/or nugget). He has already commented on all the “smiling faces”. Also already expressing concerns about how the opening ceremonies might be affecting the pitch…perhaps a legitimate concern, as this will be the first ever game played on the newly-laid grass.

13:28 EST: Commentator banality watch: “South Africa must be thinking ‘how will we top this opening ceremony?'”—hmmm, perhaps with millions of dollars of FIFA bux and years of planning?

13:33 EST: My Portuguese is pretty crap, but man I love saying nações! Except the lovable Portuguese & Angolans say naçoishhh!

13:40 EST: Opening ceremonies now concluded! Pretty entertaining as these things go…kickoff for Angola-Mali in 20 minutes here and the stadium is looking healthily full, healthfully rowdy vibes are building.  I’m likely just going to put my feet up and watch that game, but I will offer some halftime analysis and hopefully images! JA COMENÇA!!!

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