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Shakira Promotes Education at World Cup

Shakira Promotes Education at World Cup

Kaite Leavitt |

“Waka Waka,” the FIFA World Cup’s official song gets shaken up by the pop star in her efforts to improve education in Africa.

Today (Thursday), the opening ceremonies to the FIFA World Cup will convene, and Colombian superstar Shakira, accompanied by local band Freshly Ground, will perform the official song, “Waka Waka (This time for Africa).” With the world’s most popular sporting event being played on African soil, Shakira is using the platform to advance childhood education in the country.

“Seventy-two million kids around the world (are) not able to attend school, of which 32 million are African. So this is our chance to make this World Cup’s lasting legacy education for all,” Shakira said, according to Reuters.

In addition to Shakira’s debut of the anthem, June 10 also brings the launch of a series of four t-shirts for the retail clothing store MANGO. The African-inspired designs will sport “Waka Waka” or “This Time for Africa” slogans. All of the profits from the shirt sales will go to Shakira’s own Barefoot Foundation to be dispersed for education initiatives.

The first school to receive funding will be the South Africa East Observatory School. Of the school’s 560 plus children, 60 percent have lost their parents due to war and 20 percent due to AIDS.

In partnership with the 1GOAL campaign and to reach out to the children of Africa themselves, the pop star and UNICEF ambassador visited a school in the township of Soweto. She talked to the students about the importance of education and praised the teachers for their work. She then did a little teaching herself and got the children to shake their own hips with some dance steps to “Waka Waka.”

The live performance will surely be spectacular, but “Waka Waka (This time for Africa)” will also be featured on Listen Up! The Official FIFA World Cup Record with all album sales benefiting FIFA’s 20 Centres for 2010 campaign.

“It’s (the World Cup) a great opportunity to bring all the attention to issues as important as education,” Shakira said.

Photo courtesy of the Barefoot Foundation.

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