This Time for Africa: the World Cup song

10 May 2010

Written by Shakira and performed with South African band Freshlyground, the official song of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ – Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) – expresses the energy and vitality of the African continent.

“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) represents what we football fans can expect in South Africa: liveliness, power and dynamism”, Fifa president Sepp Blatter said following last week’s announcement of the official World Cup song by Fifa and Sony Music.

“It represents the four-week festival of football we are about to witness in South Africa,” Blatter said. “Nothing represents the joy of football better than music, especially when it is a song so full of energy and dynamism like Waka Waka.”

World-famous singer Shakira, from Latin America, said she was honoured that Waka Waka had been chosen to be part of the excitement and the legacy of the 2010 World Cup.

“The Fifa World Cup is a miracle of global excitement, connecting every country, race, religion and condition around a single passion,” Shakira said. “It represents an event that has the power to unite and integrate, and that’s what this song is about.”

Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground said the band was thrilled to have collaborated with Shakira on Waka Waka, “especially as we feel that the song captures the spirit and energy of the African Fifa World Cup … We are certain that the song will inspire people around the world to celebrate the gathering of nations at the place where it all started – here in Africa.”

All proceeds from the single, as well as from the “Listen Up: The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Album”, will be donated to the 20 Centres for 2010 campaign, which aims to build 20 Football for Hope Centres offering education, healthcare services and football training in Africa.

The tradition of an official song dates back to the 1966 Fifa World Cup in England, with a song for the first official mascot, “World Cup Willie”, who was a lion. Since then, the official music programme and official mascot have become an increasingly significant part of the event, providing an opportunity for more than just football fans to identify with the world’s biggest single-code sporting event.

Official songs at recent Fifa World Cups have included Un’estate italiana by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini in 1990, Gloryland by Daryl Hall with Sounds of Blackness in 1994, and La Copa de la Vida by Ricky Martin in 1998.

In 2002, the official song was Boom by Anastacia, while Vangelis’ vocal official anthem featured typical Korean and Japanese sonic elements. In 2006, The Time of Our Lives by the Il Divo quartet was a resounding success.

Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee