Day 11: Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)

Ah, Friday.  Everyone loves Friday.  Everyone waits for Friday to come.  Everyone is friends with Friday.  And everyone, or most people, think of partying during Fridays.  All in all, Fridays are like the second most loved day of the week (the first being Saturday).

With that in mind, I decided to choose a fun song for the eleventh day of our hundred day song challenge.

The song I chose is Shakira’s Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), which also features the South African band Freshlyground.  This song is, as you know, the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s official song and is a song that has received generally positive critical feedback and reception that soon became a worldwide hit.  Not only that but this song is included in the FIFA World Cup Album (yes, they now have an album for the said event), Listen Up! The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album (redundant much?) and a K-Mix version was also included on Shakira’s Sale el Sol album.

Now, most people believe that Waka Waka is just a jumble of words and filled with nonsense lyrics.  Yes, it’s true.  I read a lot of people dissing this song since they though Shakira was just making the words up, which  is stupid.  For the general public who are clueless as to what this song really means, allow me to explain (to the best of my abilities).

“Waka Waka” is based upon a traditional African soldier’s song name “Zangelawa”, a 1996 makossa hit for Cameroonian group, Golden Sounds.  The song was used extensively in the frontlines by the Nigerian Army during the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). It was also popular in some Nigeria schools as a marching song in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Nigerian Army Band, The Mercuries, based in Kaduna also did cover this song in the 1970’s on live Television appearances.

The song is still used today almost everywhere in Africa by soldiers, policemen, boy scouts, sportsmen, and their supporters, usually during training or for rallying. It is also widely used in schools throughout the continent especially in Cameroon as a marching song and almost everyone in the country knows the chorus of the song by heart. The song was also popular in Colombia where it was known as “The Military” and brought to the country by West African DJs in Cartagena.

According to Jean Paul Zé Bella, the lead singer of Golden Sounds, the chorus came from Cameroonian “sharpshooters who had created a slang for better communication between them during the Second World War”. They copied this fast pace in the first arrangements of the song. They sang the song together for freedom in Africa.

The lyrics, which are in a Central African language called Fang, read like this:

Tsa mina mina eh eh
Waka waka eh eh
Tsa mina mina zangalewa
Ana wam ah ah
Zambo eh eh
Zambo eh eh
Tsa mina mina zangalewa
Wana wa ah ah

So, what does the words mean?

  • Tsaminamina means Come.
  • Waka waka means Do it – as in perform a task. Waka is pidgin language meaning walk while working.
  • Tsaminamina zangalewa means Where do you come from?.
  • Wana means It’s mine.
  • Zambo means Wait.

Anyways, most people like the song without knowing what it means.  It’s all good though as the song really is catch and you can’t really stop yourself from liking it and singing along with it.  But I just thought you guys would want to know what it is about.

Below is the complete lyrics to the song:

You’re a good soldier
Choosing your battles
Pick yourself up
And dust yourself off
And back in the saddle

You’re on the frontline
Everyone’s watching
You know it’s serious
We’re getting closer
This isnt over

The pressure is on
You feel it
But you’ve got it all
Believe it

When you fall get up
Oh oh…
And if you fall get up
Oh oh…

Tsamina mina
Cuz this is Africa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa
This time for Africa

Listen to your god
This is our motto

Your time to shine
Dont wait in line
Y vamos por Todo

People are raising
Their Expectations
Go on and feed them
This is your moment
No hesitations

Today’s your day
I feel it
You paved the way
Believe it

If you get down
Get up Oh oh…
When you get down
Get up eh eh…

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa
This time for Africa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa


There is nothing more that I enjoy doing than reading books and writing. I'm kind of a nerd like that, XD. I have been writing for 7 years and am the author of the YA novel "Winged: The Awakening" and "Winged: The Unraveling". Also, a YouTuber dealing with video games and gaming.

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8 comments on “Day 11: Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
  1. Ryoma Echizen says:

    As a footy fan myself, i really enjoyed the song. The significance of this song lies in the fact that the World Cup was to be Africa’s chance to show they’ve arrived. This song captures Africa’s pride as a whole and not just South Africa.

  2. Cool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Didn’t know your blog to do that XD

  3. Automatically post replies to your blogs as comments on facebook.

  4. Oh, that!
    Yeah…It’s one of the features of the plugin I’m using. XD

  5. Have i ever told you that your’re a genius ????

  6. Well, now you did. XD

  7. I’m sure you’re praying right now as to how lucky you’ve been for having me as your friend. XD

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