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.