“Waka Waka”: The Famous World Cup song
It is November and the world cup fever is in full swing. If I asked any of you what was the most memorable thing about World cup 2010, I would get a lot of responses such as from Latin Americans and Spaniards. They would say they are proud of themselves as the country that took the title and trophy home.
Football fans would agree in unison the entire football experience was thrilling. South Africans would nod heads, the reason being they were the first country in the continent to host the FIFA world cup.
For me hoping that I am representing many, what makes it memorable is because of its great song “WAKA WAKA” by Shakira. I don’t know about you?
When its world cup season usually these lyrics run wild in my mind;
Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka waka eh eh
Tsamina Mina zangalewa
This time for Africa.
Best world cup song lists from sites as diverse as Billboard, MLS soccer, Washington Post and it keeps coming back each time there’s a world cup with replays and endurance driving YouTube views, best-selling singles of all time with over 15 million downloads worldwide.
Waka waka’s accompanying music video racked up a staggering 3.2 billion views and the song has become synonymous with the world cup in the years since its release. The song’s music video features several top-drawer football players including Argentina’s Leo Messi, Cameroon’s Carlos Kameni and Mexico’s Rafa Marquez.
“WAKA WAKA (This time for Africa) ” compares football players to soldiers on a battle field and encourages them to fight for their goals.
Waka waka is a slang from Cameroon that means “do it”. Shakira based elements of the song on the marching chant that sprung from an 80’s song by Cameroon Band-Golden sounds.
It’s part of the African and Caribbean influence Shakira tried to infuse into the song. “I decided to bring a little bit of my culture to which is attached to Africa,” she said in a 2010 interview with YouTube.
The choice to have her perform was met with protest. It was the first year that the world cup was ever held in Africa. With South Africa serving as host, the South African artist union called for a boycott at the opening concert where Shakira performed. Many believed it should have been performed by an African singer instead of her.
Shakira’s “waka waka (This time for Africa)” gave her the chance to partner with Barefoot foundation, which is focused on universal education. She also started a campaign during the world cup with UNICEF, to sell t-shirts in mango stores around the world, with majority of funds given to South African schools.
FIFA’S aim is yielding an official anthem that players and the audience will dance and react to. Each collection of songs is centered around bringing people together and bridging the gap between athletics and music.
Many soccer and music fans agree that FIFA has yet to top Shakira’s “waka waka (this time for Africa)” as the best world cup song. The standards of the world cup songs are held so high because of masterpieces like this.
By Mwembe Mukuche