Anthems of the World Cup – Tukoh Taka V.S. Waka Waka


Jack Beja, Staff Writer

After four years, the World Cup has finally returned, with Qatar hosting the global event. Countries from across the globe with only the best of the best, come head to head for arguably the most anticipated sporting event in history. If the game itself wasn’t enough, the World Cup is also defined by the music. The World Cup anthem that coincides with the event sets the standpoint for the expectations, and builds hype for the highly intense matches.

Arguably the best World Cup anthem came in 2010, with Shakira’s “Waka Waka (It’s Time for Africa).” From the opening roar, to the very catchy beat, the song immediately reels you in. The empowering lyrics, the iconic music video, as well as Shakira’s beautiful voice, the song encapsulates every feeling of joy found in the world cup. Shakira’s goal for the song was to bring people together, stating “The FIFA World Cup is a miracle of global excitement, connecting every country, race, religion and condition around a single passion” (Songfacts). The song achieved that goal, becoming the most recognizable anthem associated with the World Cup, and amassed over a billion youtube views, and over a billion streams across numerous streaming services. Shakira’s song of unity, culture, and confidence, perfectly represents what the World Cup stands for people across the world. 

The hype surrounding the 2022 World Cup, hosted by Qatar has been building for months, as the world watched which countries would qualify for the sporting event of the decade. However, another question was, who will be singing the traditional anthem for the game? When it was announced that Nicki Minaj, Maluma, and Myriam Fares would be performing the headlining song for the opening ceremony, people were excited. Some of the biggest influences of Rap music, Latin music, and Arabic music, the musically diverse trio had a lot riding on their anthem. When the song, “Tukoh Taka” eventually released, it was met with disappointment, rather than excitement for the future games. The repetitive chorus, though catchy, leaves much to be desired after Shakira’s “Tsamina mina, eh, eh/Waka waka, eh, eh/Tsamina mina zangalewa/This time for Africa.” (Shakira) Minaj’s first verse ends up being one of the weakest verses in her discography, Maluma’s fast paced second verse builds the hype towards the end as it flows into the chorus, but the chorus ruins Maluma’s flow as he finally gets started. The end of the song with Fares’ third verse, is honestly the best in the entire song, making me bust a little dance while listening to it. However, yet again, the draining chorus ruins her flow, and as the song ends, you’re left thinking “that’s it?” One youtube comment under the official video sums it up best, “A wonderful song that lacks only words, melody, rhythm, playing, excitement, skill, idea and Shakira.” (bashir alhadad)

Though the song failed to deliver the World Cup charm we have loved for the last few games, the matches are sure to still be entertaining and competitive. Only happening every four years and with the most talented athletes in the world, this event will surely still stand up to the high expectations of the game, despite the loss of the soccer queen, Shakira.