Long before South African music group, Freshlyground teamed up with world renowned artist, Shakira to make the Official FIFA World Cup™ hit song, ‘Waka Waka’, they were a household name not only within South Africa but also outside South African shores. As the host nation embraces the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Freshlyground band members have also joined in the football euphoria that has swept the Rainbow Nation.
The band were part of a group of 'A' list musicians who performed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Official Kick-off Concert at Orlando Stadium. They shared their views on music in South Africa, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and their picks for the tournament with FIFA.com.
FIFA.com: You have performed at many top international events. How did you feel when you performed at an event that was on the eve of such an important occasion for Africa?
Freshlyground: Having performed all over the globe, we think this one was special, not only for us, but for our country and for the African people. Six years ago, it was hard to imagine that we would have something like this in our country. We were humbled to be part of such an event. We are like ambassadors of this country, I think everyone who goes outside South African borders should be an ambassador, telling people just how wonderful this country is.
How did you enjoy being part of the recording of the 2010 FIFA World Cup's official song, Waka Waka?
It was a great project for us, from the day that we were approached to be involved in the making of the song to now, it’s been unbelievable journey for all of us. Wherever we go around South Africa, we hear the song playing, that means that people have accepted it and they love it. Now we hope it will inspire our own Bafana Bafana and other African teams to win the tournament.
What does the 2010 FIFA World Cup mean for South Africans?
This is the biggest moment for our country and for us as a nation to showcase to the rest of the world what we can offer. I have no doubt this World Cup will be a success, but what we want to see is that, when people leave South Africa, they will not only be talking about the great football, but about our music, our dance and rhythm. South Africans need to embrace other Africans, hopefully this will be a beginning of our world appreciating each other and accepting each other. People are really excited and getting behind the team.
Let's get back to football. Who will you be supporting and who is likely to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup?
We're supporting Bafana Bafana. They are our pride and joy – and lately they have been playing very well. I think people now believe in the team and I hope the boys don’t disappoint us. On who will win? (the group starts arguing amongst themselves), we think it will be either South Africa or Brazil.