Waka Waka FIFA and Sony Music Entertainment today announced that Waka Waka (This Time For Africa), written and co-produced by global superstar Shakira, has been chosen as the Official Song of the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. The song will be performed by Shakira together with South African artist Freshlyground at the Closing Ceremony before the FIFA World Cup™ Final on July 11 in Johannesburg Soccer City Stadium. All proceeds from the song will benefit FIFA's Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ "20 Centers for 2010."
The song combines Afro-Colombian instrumentation and rhythms with a rousing Soca beat and Southern African guitar. The chorus borrows from a favorite Cameroonian marching chant made popular by the group Golden Voices.
"The Official Song is as much awaited by the fans as the Mascot or the Logo. It is part of the identity of the world's most exciting sport's event. This song is the personification of the African rhythm and identity and sets the pace for this unique event. I am looking forward to hear the song throughout the tournament and watch it performed by Shakira and Freshlyground at the Final", said Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President.
"I am honored that Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) was 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."
Shakira continued, "African music is so inspiring and is poised to take its place on the global pop culture stage. I was proud to be able to work with one of South Africa's most acclaimed groups, Freshlyground." The song was co-produced by Shakira's frequent collaborator, John Hill.
"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 World Cup," said Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground. "We are certain the song will inspire people around the world to celebrate the gathering of nations at the place where it all started. Here in Africa!"
The song will be launched on April 28, 2010 and made available for download through digital retail outlets on May 12. It also will be included on "Listen Up! The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album™" to be released the week of May 31 by Sony Music Entertainment. A Spanish language version of the track, Waka Waka (Esto es Africa), will be made available in certain markets. Proceeds from the album will benefit FIFA's "20 Centers for 2010" initiative, whose aim is to achieve positive social change through football by building twenty Football for Hope centres for public health, education and football across Africa, and other African charities.
Another education focused campaign co-founded by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and co-chaired by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter is 1GOAL, a campaign that is championing global education. 1GOAL recently named Shakira an ambassador, adding her voice to the campaign's call that the lasting legacy of this year's FIFA World Cup be that every child can exercise their right to an education. Supported by some of the biggest names in the global football community and its governing body FIFA, Shakira will be campaigning with 1GOAL to ensure world leaders provide the funding to make universal access to education a reality for the 72 million children currently unable to go to school.
"Through "20 Centers for 2010" and 1GOAL, FIFA and its partners have committed to creating a lasting legacy of education for all - an issue that has been close to my heart for many years," says Shakira.
In addition to her performance at the final match, Shakira will be one of the headline performers at the official FIFA World Cup™ Kick-off Celebration Concert on June 10, broadcast from Orlando Stadium in Soweto/Johannesburg South Africa.
Shakira is a Colombian singer-songwriter, entertainer, record producer and philanthropist who emerged as a musical prodigy in the music scene of Latin America in the early 1990s. Shakira was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. An extreme talent, Shakira has collaborated with American superstars such as Beyoncé and Wyclef Jean in addition to performing with Usher and Stevie Wonder at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. She has won two Grammy Awards, seven Latin Grammy Awards, and has been Golden Globe-nominated. She is also the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time, and the most successful female Latin singer having sold over 50 million albums worldwide.