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Thursday 17 June 2010

Patricia Covarrubia

Waka waka chorus – who is the author?

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The official theme of the 2010 South African World Cup is under debate. The singer and songwriter, Wilfrido Vargas, accused Shakira of plagiarism for the use of the chorus of his song titled “ el negro no puede' in the ‘wake waka’ song – the official theme of the 2010 World Cup.

The chorus ‘waka waka' became famous in 1982, in the voices of a Dominican band called ‘las chicas del Can’ (the 'Sugar Babes' of the time) by the musician Wilfrido Vargas, who composed the song ‘el negro no puede’ and included a chorus:
“Zamina mina he he. Waka Waka ee e. Zamina mina zaaangaléwa. Ana wam a a, yango e e, yango ee e. Zamina mina zaaangaléwa. Ana wam a a”

You can hear the chorus here - by ‘las chicas del can’, and here by Shakira.

The question is who copy who? Or, who owns any rights over the chorus?
According to the news, in early May, FIFA announced that it had chosen the theme "Waka Waka", explaining that the chorus was based on a Cameroon song. It continues explaining that the song ‘waka waka’ is old as the people of Africa and that the unique name Zangalewa belongs to the popular song of Cameroon. Also, in 1986, a band from Cameroon called ‘Golden Sounds’ launched its version of "Zangalewa" and became very popular.

Although Shakira has twice been accused of plagiarism, there has never been any legal proceeding against her. Could this time be the one? Looking at the info, I do not think so. I guess Shakira can answer with her song ‘where are the thieves?'

A litte bit of gossip
For those of you who are seeking to know which ones were the other two songs, I will give you more info. Actually, I do remember both songs and saying to myself...this is like x.
1.- "Hips Do not Lie." – who can forget this song, or Shakira dancing it! Do you remember Jerry Rivera and his song ‘Amores como el nuestro’... the tune arrangement played by the solo - trumpet? Exactly the same.
2.- "Hips Do not Lie." The Dominican singer and writer, Luis Días, also accused Shakira for taking the chorus ‘baila la calle de noche, baila la calle de dia’ from his song titled ‘baila la calle’.

I really enjoy today written this post and searching/listening all the info about the songs. Latin music - salsa, merengue, ron, domino, football, weather, food; these all make me feel home sick. What a wonderful culture we have.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia


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18 June 2010 at 10:23 delete

The Dominican songwriter and singer, Wilfrido Vargas. said yesterday (17/06) that he never thought of suing Shakira re: "Waka Waka". He added that he was embarrassed by the appearance of publications that say otherwise. Moreover, he said that the chorus is an African song.

Note that on the interview, he mentions that he is working in the production of his latest record which would come to the market next month.(http://www.eluniversal.com/2010/06/17/til_ava_wilfrido-vargas-aseg_17A4043371.shtml)

Would this be it? I mean, would the misunderstanding, or gossip regarding a potential legal action be a king of promotion? I said so, because he was out of business (recording industry) for several years.