Thursday, January 6, 2011

Waka Waka

Guess I should get started on this whole blog thing.  I've never kept a blog (or a journal for that matter) so I'm kindve winging this whole thing.  The title of my blog, "This Time for South Africa", actually has quite a bit of meaning for me.  It's a play on lyrics from the World Cup anthem, Waka Waka by Shakira, which sounds like a pretty shallow title, however I've realized that watching the World Cup exposed me to a bunch of South African culture, eventually solidifying my desire to study abroad there.  Upon looking at translations of the song online, I have learned that the song has roots in African culture-- "Tsamina" or "Zangalewa" was originally sung by a group called the Golden Sounds from Cameroon in 1986.  In fact, the song became so popular that the group changed their name to Zangalewa later on.  The song was a tribute to the battles in World War II, and is still sung by people all over Africa as a training or rallying song for policemen, military, athletes and their supporters.  It is also used throughout Cameroon as a marching song, as the majority of the population know the chorus by heart.  Music historians have also said the song is a criticism of black military officials who joined with whites to oppress their own people. WHOA. Who knew this seemingly simple World Cup song would have such deep meaning?

Here's a link to the original song, in case you were interested:

Waka Waka (time for Africa) Original

The literal translation of Waka Waka is "do it" as in perform a task.  And that's what I'm planning to do during my five month stay in South Africa- my task is to learn about the country and culture and use it to better those around me.  I will be spending 2 days a week volunteering at a grassroots organization (TBD) and 3 days taking classes at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town.  The program is through Marquette University so I don't know anyone else in the program, which is so exciting, and is definitely one of my favorite aspects of the program.  I will be thrown out of my comfort zone, living in a house with 19 people I have never met, in a country I have never been to, with a culture that is unlike any I have ever seen.  Bring it on South Africa. I'm ready.

I leave in six days for a little traveling around the country with my uncle before I move into the Kimberley House on January 22nd.

This time is for South Africa.

Katie B.


  1. Great first blog Katie!

  2. Love the attitude Katie! And I agree, this time for South Africa :)

  3. bahh im so happy for you! keep the emails comin chica:)

  4. School On Monday? Have you been there yet? The weather sucks here, wish I was back there.......