Right. So this is totally a post devoted to ONE SONG because DIASPORA IS SERIOUS BUSINESS and ONGOING and sometimes reflected through musical stylings and the evolution of covers. THERE. I said it.
….Shaki, I love you. But you were wrong to try and claim all the credit for this song.
Shakira and FreshlyGround (a South African group) sampled a Camaroonian classic, “Zangelewa,” for the chorus of “Waka Waka.” Some members of the Golden Sounds, the original performers/writers, had served in the Camaroonian army as skirmishers.
DJs brought the song (and its infectious beat) to Colombia and other parts of Latin America. I couldn’t find a good version of a straight remix, but here are some other covers.
So there’s this song, right, that became an intercontinental hit. But it did have original composers and artists who weren’t always consulted over the evolution of their work or its reproduction…. something easy to forget in the context of the digital diaspora (a term I’m borrowing from Janice Cheddie and Anna Everrett) you have to keep in mind the power dynamics inherent in naming a beat, refrain, or trill traditional/indigenous and then rebranding it as yours.