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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
Time to clear the air a bit. The wildly popular “Waving Flag Celebration Mix” has been selected by Coca Cola for their Fifa 2010 campaign. Considering that these guys are the ones that branded Santa in their red and white colours and created a global icon, it comes as small surprise that the tune they picked would soon find firm foothold in the world's hearts and minds. The track will be used as the music element throughout the entire campaign, including as the soundtrack for all television commercials, during the trophy tour. To be fair, even without the backing from the beverage giant, Waving Flag is a beautiful song, the distinctly African drumbeats mixed into the re-recorded version of the song, the lyrics of which have been modified from their original message of defiance in the face of adversity, to one of celebration.

I'll believe I can…win hearts with this Victory Sign
If you like the energy and enthusiasm of Waving Flag, Fifa's official anthem for 2010, “Sign of a Victory” will seem tame by comparison. R Kelly teams up with the Sowetu Spiritual Singers and channels some of his 'I believe I can fly' choral magic. The song will be performed at the Opening Ceremonies, and the beautiful harmonies of the vocals, backed up by the gentle roll of African drums makes it more uplifting than last the World Cup's more sombre 'Time of our Lives” by Toni Braxton and Il Divo. Even Kellz' abuse of auto-tune didn't ruin it.

Waka Waka wake-up and smell the sonic pollution
Which brings us to the hip-shaking Shakira and her offering of “Waka Waka (This time for Africa)”. The Columbian powerhouse teams up with South African band Freshlyground to bring out yet another catchy number, but this time, even her famously honest pelvic region fails to distract one from the controversies surrounding the song.

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.

Zakumi's Song
The mascot for this year's World Cup is Zakumi, the green-haired leopard, and his song is 'Game On” by Pitbull Tkzee and Dario G. The African tunes have been lent a heavy techno sound, which perfectly complements the sleek, anime look of the mascot. Thankfully, this lively song is feel-good and controversy-free.

Listen up!
The anthem, the official song, the mascot song, and several other songs with big name artists such as Wyclef, Matisyahu and John Legend will feature in Listen Up! The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album, the perfect package of lively music that is sure to fire up even the most passive soccer fan.

Here's to a musical Fifa 2010

References: soccer-portal.org, The Guardian, Fifa.com, aolradioblog.com, worldcupblog.org

By Sabrina F Ahmad


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-

My father opened the door, and there stood our panda-bellied landlord, fuming and a little purple on the face.

“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
wife is a big fan, you see, ehehe… ”

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.”

“She WHAT?”

“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 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.”

By Kokoro-chan



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