Fifa Tunes 2010
TRY Googling for the Fifa World Cup 2010 anthem, and you're bound to get a major headache. Anyone who's caught the event hype will tell you that 'Waving Flag' by K'naan is where it's at, but then Wikipedia goes nope, sorry, that'd be R Kelly's “Sign of a Victory”, while the Google searches themselves are going waka waka over Shakira's hot little number of the same name.
They'll call me Freedom
I'll believe I can…win hearts with this Victory Sign
Waka Waka wake-up and smell the sonic pollution
The message of the song is war, right from the beginning when she says 'You're a good soldier.” We know that football is war, and the World Cup is the stage for the mother of all sports battles, but given the host country's turbulent history, it does strike some as a poor taste. The catchy chorus of the song is borrowed from the popular song “Zangaléwa” by the Cameroonian band originally known as Golden Sounds (who later changed their name to Zangaléwa because the song was so popular). According to Daryl of the World Cup Blog, the lyrics of the chorus are in the Fang dialect of Cameroon, and the key refrain of “zangaléwa”, translates to 'Who sent you?” Silly choice for the World Cup, no? Furthermore, Daryl paraphrases some information from another blog, Guanabee, where apparently the original song was a criticism of black military officers who were in league with whites to oppress their own people.
That's a lot of politics for one song, that too, one that doesn't measure up to the heart-warming feel of the other too.
Here's to a musical Fifa 2010
References: soccer-portal.org, The Guardian, Fifa.com, aolradioblog.com, worldcupblog.org
By Sabrina F Ahmad
FOOTBALL: IT'S A BANGALI THING
IN the year of 2006, one sunny morning during the World Cup season, my father walked in through the main door grinning broadly, ushering forward two other sweaty men behind him who were carrying a brand new colour television set. Now that was news, because my father was known as the 'Miser of the Moholla', and he had bought a brand new television. We were so happy, we felt like jumping off the balcony, which was only a storey high so obviously we wouldn't die. Probably.
Our old television set was kicked out and the new one proudly occupied the now-empty throne, which was an old rickety TV stand. World Cup schedules had been taped to the living room walls, flags had been set up on the roof, jerseys had been bought and sent for laundering: all preparations were complete. It was the World Cup, it was the third Eid that came after every four years. It was-
“Mr. M,” he addressed my father, “may I request you to remove the God-knows-how-many numbers of flags your children have planted on my rooftop?”
“Eh? I thought the kids already resolved the 'flag issue' with you,” my father scratched his head and gave us questioning looks.
“Well you said we shouldn't be racists and respect all nations and stuff,” I offered timidly. “So we kind of went and bought all the teams' flags and put them up on the roof.”
“Yes, and thanks to that, my rooftop now looks like a colourful circus,” our panda-landlord glared at me.
“Hohoho,” my father tried to ease the tension, “it's a good thing, no? Now your building can be called a symbol of global harmony, the pride of the moholla, hehehe. There'll be no other rooftop like yours,” he patted the grumbling landlord on the back and added in a hushed tone, “say, even if you take off all the other ones, keep the Brazil flag there, no? See, I'm a really big Brazil fan and-”
“AHEMM,” that was my mother dusting the spotless new TV nearby.
“Of course, of course, the Argentina one too,” he stuttered. “My
Just then our cousin Saquib bhai came for a visit, so all of us children followed him to the rooftop. He had a dead expression on his face. He looked like a dead fish, which was funny because he really hated fish.
“My landlady says football is a violent game,” he mumbled. “It has things like free-kicks, spiked boots, head-butting and fouls… ”
“Chicken?” my younger brother piped up.
“No Motu, not fowl.”
“Aw.” he seemed disheartened.
“Anyway,” Saquib continued, “my landlady says there's no point in watching a game this violent. So she cut off the common cable lines of the entire building.”
“I know, right? I hate watching the game on BTV, they have the habit of cutting back to their studios during the 8 pm news… and weird-looking announcers.”
“… we should kill your landlady.”
“Yeah, we definitely should.”
“Kids! The game is about to start!” father's voice boomed from downstairs, so we rushed for our living room spots.
“Kittu, Kittu, c'mere,” That was daadi, waving her arms at me like a madwoman. And if you're wondering who's Kittu, it's my nickname.
“Say, why do they call it a football?” My daadi began with her 'ever-so-witty' questions. “I mean the ball has no feet, right? Khik-khik-khik-khik…”
“Very funny, daadi.” I rolled my eyes.
The match started. Flags flew, goals were scored, we all screamed. All of us, except my father. His team was losing, you see, and as time passed, he slowly started going a little green on the face. Finally, there came a time when he could take it no more.
“THE REFEREE HAS BEEN BRIBED!!!”
The next thing I heard was Motu muttering beside me, “Oooh, the TV's smoking…”
And then my mother's aghast voice, “HONEY!!! You promised to let me watch serials all day longafter the World Cup was over!” she growled.
“Yes, b-but you see, I kind of threw the remote at the TV and it kind of exploded and…” my father stammered, no trace of the previous rage on his now-scared face.
“Come now, Bouma, my son's always been lively like that,” Daadi offered generously, then added as an after-thought, “more like a monkey, now that I think about it.” Then she directed her twinkling eyes and paan-stained grin towards us, “By the way, do you kids know why football players are dumb? They run after a ball to make goals when the ball is already gol!! Get it, GOL? Har har har har…”
Even in that chaotic atmosphere, our collective groans could be heard throughout the entire moholla, “L.A.M.E., daadi.”
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