Everyone is making a big fuss over the fact that a non South African is singing the world cup song. They claim that Fifa is a ‘South African’ event and should feature South African talent.
Let me explain why they are wrong, Fifa has always been an international event featuring entertainment from all the continents participating. Meaning that if you look at past World Cups it was not exclusively for that country that hosts it, yes of course the country gets a lot of ‘attention’ for it being held there but it is not just about them. South Africans are just acting in a very self absorbed way showing the world they think they are the most important part of the event. But we are not, the soccer is, the game, the players and their fans who have come to see them is. It is a opportunity for us to show the world what South Africa can offer and how wonderful the people can be but instead I just read comment after comment about how unsatisfied South Africans are with the lack of attention our artist are getting.
Here is the video of the Fifa soccer world cup 2006 opening ceremony, it took place in Berlin. Guess what Shakira and Wyclef Jean sang the song Hips Don’t Lie Bamboo version, do you get it now? Fifa needs something they can sell, it must be able to bring in a income and sorry to say I am not sure that a South African artist will be able to sell records the way Shakira does.
Personally I don’t like the Waka Waka song, there is too much reference to soldiers, war and talking about soccer as if it’s a god. Plus it is rather unfair that Shakira is doing the anthem song again for this world cup, they could have been more creative in their choice of artist. But having said that I prefer it to all other options we have been given and it remains Fifa’s choice. This is a world event South Africans should embrace it as such and not be so obsessed with recognition of Africa and make other people feel welcome rather than that they are intruding in ‘our’ limelight. In the end Fifa wants to make money and in the end that is what a big international artist will bring them, we cannot change that. So instead of attacking Shakira and making a fuss, accept it and be gracious about the whole thing and promote the South African group Freshlyground that will be singing along with Shakira.
Freshlyground – "Pot Belly" Music Video
So rather than getting hung up on Shakira celebrate that such a wonderful diverse group of singers as Freshlyground is representing our country.
Watch Shakira’s performance at the Fifa World Cup grand opening for 2010 here. She was really the best choice for the performance, kicking off the world cup with a bang.
Tonight was the last night of the soccer World Cup. South Africa gave a wonderful closing ceremony once again opening with Shakira singing the World Cup anthem Waka Waka. Both Shakira and Freshlyground gave an outstanding performance. If you missed it watch it here.