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started off as a music blog hence the name. but, it is now my any and everything blog.
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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

African Music Post + World Cup

The 2010 Football World Cup (soccer to you Americans) is taking place in South Africa. This year's official world cup song is a cover of Zangalewa by Cameroonian band Zangalewa. Listening to this song brought back some memories for me. When I was in boarding school, we had to sing this as we jogged during out sports day, the lyrics made no sense to me and I assumed by teacher had made it up. So imagine my shock when I listen to the Shakira version and I hear her singing my jogging song.

From what I gather from my interwebs research, the song pays tribute to the African skirmishers that fought during WW2 and mocks black military officers that too sides with white people to oppress black people. (more here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamina_mina_(Zangalewa))



There has been some chatter online about whether or not Shakira should have been asked to sing since the World Cup is taking place in South Africa and she isn't vaguely African. Some argue that allowing her to sing is in the spirit of unity that the World Cup preaches. While others (and I fall into this bracket) believe that it should have been left to the African people. Singing this song is a big opportunity and a chance to get some African music on the map, right now the only person everyone is talking about in relation to the world cup song is Shakira. Many people don't take a moment to notice and acknowledge the fact that South African band Freshlyground sing on it as well.

There are a couple of African musicians with cross over appeal to pull of the world Cup song and give it the international appeal that the organisers want. People like - Dave Matthews (yes, that Dave Matthews), Femi Kuti, Tony Allen, Seether,  Freshlyground. Hopefully, another African Country would get to host the world cup in my lifetime and rectify this mess.