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A last modern rhythm for Africa Cup final

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Urban Africa with noisy crowds, taxis and flames set the beat for a rising continent at the Africa Cup of Nations closing ceremony in Soweto on Sunday.

Dancers grooved to house and electronic music against city skylines as a three-quarter full 90,000-seater Soccer City cheered ahead of the showdown between Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

A few clouds dotted the Soweto sky as four Hawks fighter jets streaked past, showing the might of one of the continent's strongest militaries.

Gone were the worries of pelting rain that dampened the opening ceremony three weeks ago, kept away the jets and delayed spectators for hours on the road.

A group formed Africa's outline, holding burning torches in the air.

This rural scene then changed into a city, mirroring the continent's economic rise -- to jazz pop sounds of South African act Mi Casa.

Nigerian fans -- who form a large diaspora in South Africa -- erupted in shouts and waved their green-and-white flags at their country's afro-beat star D'Banj.

"I loved every second," said a beaming Steve Soniyi, 49, afterwards, wearing a green shirt and cowboy hat to show his loyalties.

"I loved D'Banj, and the acts that followed, the sparks," he said of the MTV Europe music winner.

Another fan walked with a phony coffin marked "Burkina Faso Rest in Peace" on his head.

Massive flags paid tribute to the two West African nations who will play for the continent's most prestigious sports title.

Hosts South Africa's exit in the quarter-finals didn't keep away fans, who showed in their country's colours at the sold-out stadium -- the most tickets ever sold for an Africa Cup final.

Few Burkinabe fans were spotted - they being a less prominent immigrant group at the continent's southern tip.

Enthusiasts throughout kept blowing vuvuzelas, the loud plastic trumpets introduced to the globe during the Football World Cup almost three years ago.

The new champions would lift the African football cup in the same stadium as Spain, when they won the World Cup in 2010.

jcm/cw

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130210/last-modern-rhythm-africa-cup-final