Nobody said ‘let there be light’ but when they did come on, Soccer City looked celestial. Ten slender columns of light from all sides of the pitch merged with those crisscrossing into the sky from the roof. And they were all in one colour — blue.
The first group of performers formed a human map of Africa before seamlessly hitting Waka Waka mode. Never had someone so little packed as much energy as Shakira did.
A laser show followed. The pitch became the ‘Jozi Times’ that captured the sighs and highs of the 63 matches gone by through a flash of images.
The build-up to the final showcased by the flags of Holland and Spain with the bald, gold World Cup statue in between, morphed into a map of Africa. “Now for the moment of truth,” said the public address system before the laser show ended.
But it wasn’t the technology that took your breath away. That was done by a titan, a man who missed the opening ceremony because of a family tragedy. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the former president of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela.” Soccer City gave him a standing ovation and he smiled and waved back.