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Yemi Alade Headlines AFCON 2023

The 34th edition of the African Cup of Nations opened with fanfare and lots of Yemi Alade.
January 17, 2024
9:52 am
Yemi Alade

The 34th edition of the African Cup of Nations commenced with grandeur as iconic Nigerian singer Yemi Alade took center stage at the opening ceremony.


Held at the 60,000-capacity Stade Alessane Ouattara in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan, the event was themed “The Pride of African Football.”


Yemi Alade collaborated with legendary Ivorian singer Magic System and Egypt’s Mohammed Ramadan for a rendition of the theme song “Akwaba,” meaning ‘welcome’ in the Baoule language of Côte d’Ivoire. Donning a vibrant green jumpsuit adorned with intricate patterns and colors symbolizing the diversity of the continent, the Nigerian diva delivered an electrifying performance that captivated the audience.


Expressing her joy and aspirations on   X (Twitter), Yemi Alade shared, “Since 2016, I have envisioned performing at the stadium for football ceremonies surrounded by hundreds of dancers and people. Seven years later, I’m performing at AFCON. It is indeed an honor and a dream come true. It’s just the beginning.


Known as “Mama Africa,” Yemi Alade’s presence perfectly encapsulated the spirit of unity at this pan-African gathering.


The hosts kicked off the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Guinea Bissau, with Seko Fofana and Jean-Philippe Krasso netting in either half.


To accommodate climate considerations, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) shifted the tournament from its originally planned Northern Hemisphere summer slot to early January, aiming to avoid Ivory Coast’s intense summer weather. This scheduling adjustment has significant implications for club-level commitments, resulting in the temporary absence of international stars such as Mohammed Salah, Andre Onana, Victor Boniface, and Victor Osimhen from their European teams during this period.


Featuring 24 nations competing in six stadiums across five cities, the competition promises a month of high-stakes football and is set to conclude on Feb. 11, 2024.


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