Are You Prepared for the Imminent Overexposure of Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)’?


In just three days, fun-loving people across America will again, as our cherished once-every-four-years tradition mandates, temporarily stop not caring about soccer. That’s right — the 2010 World Cup is upon us! If you plan on joining said fun-loving people in intensely rooting for athletes whose existence you’ve just minutes ago been made conscious of to do something positive or negative, here’s a word of caution: During the tournament’s television coverage, you will most likely be subjected — repeatedly, during segues to and from commercials, before and after games, and maybe (but probably not) during some particularly dull action in the second halves of lesser matches — to Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” the official anthem of the World Cup. Is this a bad thing? On the surface, no: The song, the video for which was just officially released, is a perfectly innocuous bit of inspiration pop — “when you fall get up, oh oh/and if you fall get up, eh eh,” Shakira suggests at one point — with a few vague nods toward what would be identified by a majority of Western-pop-reared individuals as ‘world music.’ But are you prepared to hear it over and over and over again? We’re just checking! Okay, this has been a Vulture PSA.