Shakira and Freshlyground sing Official FIFA World Cup™ song

FIFA and Sony have chosen Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) as the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. The song was written by Shakira, the world-famous singer from Latin America, who will perform with South African band Freshlyground.

Once again, the announcement of the official FIFA World Cup™ song was keenly awaited. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) is the name of the new football anthem, and with its rhythmical African sounds, the song represents the vitality and energy of the host continent. South African guitars back up the Afro-Colombian rhythm and Soca beat. The chorus is similar to that of a popular Cameroon song made famous by Golden Voices in particular.

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter is delighted with the new FIFA World Cup Song: “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) represents what we football fans can expect in South Africa: liveliness, power and dynamism. It represents the four-week festival of football we are about to witness in South Africa. Nothing represents the joy of football better than music, especially when it is a song so full of energy and dynamism like Waka Waka.”

Shakira will perform the song with the famous South African band Freshlyground. “I am honoured that Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) has been chosen to be part of the excitement and the legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” said Shakira. “The FIFA World Cup is a miracle of global excitement, connecting every country, race, religion and condition around a single passion. It represents an event that has the power to unite and integrate, and that’s what this song is about.”

“We are thrilled to have collaborated with Shakira on Waka Waka (This Time For Africa), especially as we feel that the song captures the spirit and energy of the African FIFA World Cup,” said Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground. “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. The aim of the official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ is to achieve positive social change through football by building 20 Football for Hope Centres in Africa to offer education and healthcare services as well as football training.

FIFA and Sony Music have enjoyed a successful partnership in the official music programme ever since 1994. 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. Ever since, the official music programme and the Official Mascot have become a more and more significant component of the event, providing an excellent opportunity for more than just football fans to identify with the world’s biggest single-sport event.

Official songs at recent FIFA World Cup™ competitions 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.