“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”, called “Waka Waka (Esto es África)” in Spanish, is a song by Colombian singer Shakira, featuring the South African band Freshlyground. It was released on 7 May 2010 by Epic Records as the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which was held in South Africa. Written, composed, and produced by Shakira and John Hill, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” is a pop song whose lyrics encourage one to aim for their goals like a soldier on a battlefield. The song was adapted from the Cameroonian band Golden Sounds’s 1986 song “Zangaléwa.” The song initially generated controversy after numerous South Africans expressed disappointment in FIFA’s decision to select Shakira to sing the song, arguing that a native artist should have been assigned the role.
It garnered generally favourable reviews from critics, receiving praise for its production. “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” peaked at number one on record charts of numerous countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. In the United States, the song peaked at number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over one million units in the country. The single similarly attained multi-platinum certifications in other countries, including a nine-times platinum certification in Sweden and a six-times platinum certification in Spain. “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” has sold 10 million downloads worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.
The music video for “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” was directed by Marcus Raboy and shows Shakira and a group of dancers and children dancing to the song together. It features cameos by various footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. It became popular on YouTube, receiving 2.0 billion views as of October 2018 and becoming the twenty-fifth most-watched video of all time on the site. Shakira performed the song at the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony on 10 June as well as at the closing ceremony on 11 July. It was also included on the set list of her The Sun Comes Out World Tour (2010–11) and El Dorado