South Africa:2010 FIFA World Cup theme song raises interesting views

As is the norm with any major tournament especially the World Cup, the 2010 World Cup has its song out approximately a month to the event. The song features world renowned Latino female singer Shakira along with South Africa’s own Freshly Ground.

WorldCupBlog has nothing against Shakira but why should the song be sung by a Colombian?:

Shakira featuring Freshly Ground – Waka Waka(This is Africa) Source: World Cup 2010 Theme Song

…I’ve nothing against Shakira. But does it seem odd to anyone else that the official song for the World Cup in South Africa will be sung by a hot Colombian lady? True, she’s backed up by South African band Freshlyground, but it’s very much Shakira front and center here.
It continues and gives us a brief history of the original track, Zangalewa by group formerly known as Golden Sounds now known by the title song which made them famous across the continent

Apparently, the song does not fit the event:

The only problem is that the catchy part – the chorus – is borrowed from the popular song ‘Zangaléwa’ by the Cameroonian band originally known as Golden Sounds (who later changed their name to Zangaléwa because the song was so popular). The band was apparently made up of ex-Cameroonian military who were fond of dressing up and acting silly. Apparently the lyrics are in the Fang dialect of Cameroon, and the key refrain of ‘zangaléwa’, translates as ‘who sent you?’ Which is at least fitting for a World Cup. Some further (but not much further) interpretation comes from the Latino music blog Guanabee. The song, music historians say, is a criticism of black military officers who were in league with whites to oppress their own people. Or at least, some of it was. Some of it, as far was we can surmise, is gibberish.

KennyNaija, a blogger from Nigeria, captures the controversy the song brewed in South African radio stations:

The song hit radio stations last week, with Johannesburg locals responding with comments like “It's horrible” and “How is Shakira going to sing the African part of it?” (My guess is with her voice, but a Speak & Spell could be a fun choice, too.). The Colombian singer collaborated with South African band Freshlyground on the track, which borrows from a Cameroonian song called “Zangalewa.” But the fact that the anthem for South Africa's World Cup is not being sung by a South African is the sticking point for the critics who aren't just opposed to the new tune itself.

Martin Myers, a blogger, DJ and publicist, discusses FIFA and Sony Music Entertainment announcement of the song as the official song:

FIFA and Sony Music Entertainment today announced that Waka Waka (This Time For Africa), written and co-produced by global superstar Shakira, has been chosen as the Official Song of the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. The song will be performed by Shakira together with South African artist Freshlyground at the Closing Ceremony before the FIFA World Cup™ Final on July 11 in Johannesburg Soccer City Stadium. All proceeds from the song will benefit FIFA’s Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ “20 Centers for 2010.

He also captures Sepp Blatter’s thoughts of the song as well as Shakira’s comments on the honour of getting selected to do the song:

The Official Song is as much awaited by the fans as the Mascot or the Logo. It is part of the identity of the world’s most exciting sport’s event. This song is the personification of the African rhythm and identity and sets the pace for this unique event. I am looking forward to hear the song throughout the tournament and watch it performed by Shakira and Freshlyground at the Final”, said Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President”
“‘I am honored that Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) was chosen to be part of the excitement and the legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup,’ said Shakira. ‘The FIFA World Cup is a miracle of global excitement, connecting every country, race, religion and condition around a single passion. It represents an event that has the power to unite and integrate, and that’s what this song is about.’ Shakira continued, ‘African music is so inspiring and is poised to take its place on the global pop culture stage. I was proud to be able to work with one of South Africa’s most acclaimed groups, Freshlyground.’ The song was co-produced by Shakira’s frequent collaborator, John Hill

Brown Shuga of JustCurious, an entertainment blog, says he loves the song but has a problem with the official video:

I had to listen to it about 3 times before I decided I liked the song…I love the song, but if this is the official video then I have a problem… where are my boys?

He takes us through the history of the song:

Zamina” or “Zangaléwa” is a 1986 hit song, originally sung by a makossa group from Cameroon called Golden Sounds who were beloved throughout the continent for their silly dances and costumes. The song was such a hit for Golden Sounds that they eventually changed their name to Zangaléwa, too.The song pays tribute to African skirmishers (a.k.a tirailleurs) during WW2. Most of the band members were in the Cameroonian Army themselves and used make up, fake belly and fake butt for comic relief. The song is still used today by soldiers, policemen, boy scouts, sportsmen and their supporters, usually during training or for rallying. It is also widely used in schools throughout the country as a marching song and almost everyone in the country knows the chorus of the song by heart.

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