A last modern rhythm for Africa Cup final

Johannes Myburgh
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Artists perform around giant Nigerian and Burkina Faso flags on February 10, 2013 at Soccer City stadium

Artists perform around giant Nigerian and Burkina Faso flags during a ceremony held ahead of the kick off of the 2013 African Cup of Nations final football match between Burkina Faso and Nigeria on February 10, 2013 at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg

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

Dancers grooved to house and electronic music against city skylines as sold-out 90,000-seater Soccer City cheered at the Eagles' 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso.

Nigerian fans roared at the first-half goal that gave them their third African title in a pulsating match. The stadium was theirs -- you'd forget South Africa were hosts.

"I'm so happy to be here today!" said ecstatic Victor Iwuala, 31.

"I'm just going to celebrate with my friends and drink and talk and talk!" he said, wearing a pointy green-and-white hat as the grass-coloured sea of people bounced around him.

Earlier a few clouds dotted the 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 match 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 and MTV Europe music winner D'Banj.

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

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 battled for the continent's most prestigious sports title.

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.

And neither the sometimes-jarring music nor a less impressive show could deter them.

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.

As the stadium emptied, new champions Nigerians lifted the African football cup in the same stadium as Spain, when they won the World Cup in 2010.