May 7, 2020, marks the 10th Anniversary of Shakira’s single Waka Waka, released a month before the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa. I remember hearing this song on the radio during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and afterwards.
The music is Pop with an upbeat sound that brought people together and still does, ten years later. Hearing the drums and bongos adds to the vibe of the African culture. It prepared listeners for one of the popular sporting events of that year. There’s a catchy beat that is unforgettable, even now. The tribal music, in the beginning, is a significant detail to the single.
Shakira’s voice sounds cheerful and enthusiastic. She sings rhythmically and from the heart, as well as brings people’s spirits up.
The lyrics are a touching homage to African culture, especially the words “It’s Time for Africa” and the titled itself Waka Waka. The words start an encouraging note, where she talks about the soldiers, a metaphor for standing up for one’s beliefs. The lyrics may have a simplicity to them but carry rich meaning. Sources say that Waka Waka is slang in Cameroon, which means “do it.” Ten years later, I still enjoy hearing this incredible song.