World Cup song 'Waka Waka' not African enough, say underwhelmed fans

2010-05-18 00:00

WAKA Waka, the official song of the World Cup, has not gone down well with fans, who feel that the song is not “African enough”.

The song, sub-titled “This Time for Africa”, is partly in a Cameroonian dialect called Fang. It was co-written and is sung by Colombian pop star Shakira and South African group Freshlyground.

At a special media face-off in Durban during the Tourism Indaba recently, international media told Fifa general secretary Jerome Valck­e that the song is “horrible” because it does not sound African.

They asked Valcke why a Colombian singer was chosen to sing the song.

Valcke told journalists that he had heard the song only a few days before when he was a guest on a South African radio station. He undertook to listen to the song a few more times before he could give his opinion.

“I’m going to listen to the song again. I’m sure it will catch on around the world,” he said.

Several comments on the vuvuzelasouthafrica website have also shown fans’ dislike for the song.

“Although she is backed by South African band Freshlyground, it is just weird for me that the song for the 2010 World Cup South Africa should be sung by a Colombian Woman,” read one comment.

Another said: “It is a great pity, an obscure Cameroonian song sung by a Colombian superstar seems a rather unconsidered & poor choice. I hear again & again that this is a world event and an African World Cup — South Africa is merely the host country.”

Drum magazine’s entertainment editor, Gilda van Schalkwyk, said Shakira was a poor, if not weird choice as singer of the tournament song.

“I understand Fifa’s need to include international talent along with a great band like Freshlyground, but Shakira’s vocals just don’t work on the track.

“Also, listening to the song doesn’t make me feel particularly proud or patriotic that we’re hosting the cup; it doesn’t leave you with the desired effect when you listen to it,” she said.

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