Shakira’s World Cup Theme [Insert Fozzy Bear Joke Here]

So, this summer is the World Cup. Otherwise known as “That Big Soccer Tournament” and “F*CK YEAH, BRAZIL! Time.” And of course, the World Cup traditionally has an anthem. Odds are if you were growing up in the 90’s year heard one of the themes from 1998’s tournament. A song call “La Copa de la Vida” by Ricky Martin. Do you really want it? YEAH!

…and some people were SURPRISED when he came out. Huh.

This year, the tournament is being held in South Africa. And the anthem is being provided by Shakira. It’s called “Waka Waka” and…well…

First of all, I’ll be blunt. This song and Shakira’s voice are very much Not My Thing. So I’m trying to ignore that while listening. But there’s enough else here that’s bothering me that the voice isn’t the hugest problem.

The first lines to the song are “You’re a good soldier/choosing your battles.” Look, I don’t know if Shakira/her songwriter realize this, but AFRICA KIND OF HAS THIS PROBLEM RIGHT NOW WITH CIVIL WARS. So…you know, that’s probably not the best comparison to make in a song subtitled “This Time for Africa.”

It’s not sitting well with other people, either. General reaction from the South African people is asking why, if this time it’s for Africa, they didn’t get a South African artist to perform the song. It doesn’t really feel like, hey, we’re trying to change the stereotypes of this continent and this is ALL ABOUT AFRICA when the performer you got isn’t African. Or even of African descent. Or who speaks an African language.

Of course, there’s another anthem, chosen by Coca-Cola. It’s not the official anthem, but probably should be. Performed by Canadian-Somalian artist K’naan, it’s called “Waving Flag.”

Thoughts? Feelings?