Guests in the stadium
Neither the wet weather nor the bus driver strike, which prevented many ticket holders from reaching the stadium, could dampen the enthusiasm with which thousands committed themselves to good citizenship and leading by example throughout 2011.
Bishop Marcelo Pires, leader of the church's evangelical work, inspired the gathering by encouraging everyone to improve one aspect of themselves or their lives, just by one percent, every day, week and month in the year ahead. Demonstrating this journey by climbing a step ladder one step at a time, he said people would soon reach the top. This life changing transformation will make people great and our country a great nation.
Members of the Soweto Opera Quadro stunned the stadium with their rendition of well known classical ballads. The powerful and harmonious sound set the tone for the rest of the evening.
The UCKG Night Vigil was broadcast live to thousands on Soweto TV, bringing a message of gratitude for 2010 and hope for 2011 to people at home, in hospital or in prison.
Rather than spending money on fireworks at midnight the FNB Stadium was lit with coloured lights and thousands of flares and over R500 000 was donated to AMAHA as a contribution to their HIV/Aids awareness campaigns and their house building projects. In recognition of the partnership with the church, Doc Shebeleza, founder of AMAHA presented UCKG with a framed photograph of their patron, President Jacob Zuma.
This was the third New Year's Eve night vigil hosted by UCKG at the FNB Stadium. This year requests for 50 000 tickets from church members were turned down because of stadium capacity. The UCKG will hold its fourth night vigil in the world-famous calabash at the end of 2011 and plans to host the additional members at the Orlando Stadium.
For further publicity information, please contact Nametso Mofokeng, UCKG Public Relations, on 011 224-3400 / 011 224-3447, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the website www.universalark.co.za
Nhlanhla Nciza from Mafikizolo, wearing her signature glasses, entertains the crowd
Menzi Ngubane, Sibusiso Dlomo in Generations (left) and MC Kenneth Nkosi (right)
The Universal Church choir