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    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world - Citizen Journalism at its finest!


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« Fourth Edition of Acclaimed Historical Dictionary of Cameroon Now Available | Main | Cameroon: A country not measuring up to its vast potential »

May 23, 2010


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Andy V.

I fully agree with the article's author point of view. Funny thing is that RIAA gets so annoyed with people pirating their songs but then one of their "labels" (Sony along with Shakira) sets the example by also pirating a an African song!? Ironic and very very sad. I'm not African, by the way.


Credit was given to Jean Paul Ze Bella from Zangalewa-Golden Sounds in the FIFA CD as co-author of Shakira's song, even tough the chorus is in the public domain and has been used many times by many other groups. Actually Shakira is not receiving any money frrm this song, since all proceeds from the sales will go to the FIFA Foundation to build schools in Africa.
Except the chorus, all verses in the song were written by Shakira.


Talk about hypocrisy! Shakira and Sony agree to financial compensation for the Golden Sounds but then they change the name of the song to “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).” Excuse me? You—for all intents and purposes a multimillionaire white woman pop star global sex symbol—just got caught in theft of a Cameroonian song without crediting the band who originally published the piece and now you’re going to have the audacity to call it “This Time for Africa?” Then you proceed to sing the song without pause and without shame at the largest sporting event in the world, which just happens to be taking place in Africa, which displaced millions of South African’s poor and destroyed countless lives. Can anyone explain what the *** she/her representatives were thinking? How was this time for Africa? But hey, apparently it was enough for FIFA and the rest of the world.

This subject is very political and we can’t pretend that it is not. Big name Western artists’ ongoing appropriation of African work is reflective of the entire system of global capitalism that situates Africans as inferior and therefore exploitable. Despite France24, I don’t know of any major media stations that discussed the topic (I am in the U.S. and the only local channel I can name as covering this scandal is DemocracyNow!). The silence is reflective of the ongoing disconcern with issues of West’s mistreatment of Africa and Africans. They air a six-part documentary series highlighting Western aid to African countries (read: look world, the West is taking care of poor little Africa) but won’t devote two minutes of our news cast to such glaring hypocrisy during the World Cup.

Dayo Ogunyemi, your idealistic “The song is a song of the people, it should stay in the public domain” completely disregards the capitialist exploitative realities of modern day existence. Shakira should never have claimed to have written the song if she were so idealistically communal and she definitely should not stand to reap any monetary benefit if it “belongs to the community.”

While Shakira was in South Africa she might as well have stolen some Zulu artifacts to put on display for wealthy white Colombians, without reimbursement to the people, naturally.


Ali, in case you missed it, in a video that was just taken down from Youtube, Shakira claims that the lyrics and chorus of Waka Waka came to her while she was walking from her barn to her house. No mention of Zangalewa or Cameroon.

BTW, what is this constant insistence about Zangalewa being in the "public domain"? Have any of you guys gone to the Cameroonian copyrights registry in Yaounde to confirm this assertion? Whatever the case, without the Golden Sounds song, Shakira would never have known about this song and as her representatives told the Golden Sounds agent before the World Cup, they were looking for something African and they combed through dozens of African songs before stumbling on this one. So please, let's stop this insanity and give the devil its due!!!


Thank goodness there are numerous uploads of the video out there. Here's one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kDmP1BS218


This is very interesting and informative. It is okay for FIFA, SONY and Shakira to use African music for the first world cup in Africa.The benefits of exposing Africa in this world cup is tremendous. There was settlement for unlawful use of Africa's music. What we should not forget is that Africans do not value what they have. It is about time to educate Africans to first value what they have and fight for a fair share of the pie. Knowing the value is paramount in bagaining. Shakira doing the music definitely will make more money than the original African musicians. Does Africa has entertainment lawyers? Come out and help.

Elton Ellis

is it possible that shakira has no idea who recorded the original version of zangalewa? take a look at the link below the song is by Las Chicas del Can and it is called El negro no puede which was popular in latin countries when shakira was growing up

alpacino's girl

Cameroon is a party to the Paris Convention on Industrial Property and Universal Copyright Convention. The licensed copyright company Societe Civile Nationale des Droit d'Auteurs that formerly registered copyrights including: music, books periodicals, paitings and theatrical productions is currently undergoing liquidation. In its place is SOCAM -Societe Civile Camerounaise de l'Art Musicale. However, without the government signing the World Trade Organizations's TRIPS agreement enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights remain a challenge - possible reasons are cost of enforcment, lack of understanding of IP rights among officials and the culture of piracy. Artists should be encouraged to register with SOCAM and then if their lyrics or likeness of IP material is pirated then they can use WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) to enforce their rights in a cost effective manner, however, the Government must sign the TRIPS agreement to utilize the OAPI dispute resolution options for copyrights including music. In the United States the Library of Congress, is charged with copyrights for music etc had Shakira violated an IPR here an action would easily be instituted with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. IPR and enforcement training and protection solutions need to be offered however the GOC must make it their priority in order to quelch this trend. what a pity Shakira had to resort to theft of IPR's I guess the belly shaking routine is played out . . .


Some people should really reflect on what they write before posting. Though we are all pruned to an open debate of opinions, blaming and condemning issues which are not clearly labelled out is like looking for a black goat in the Dark Room.

Though I was miffed at the idea of Shakira singing at the world cup, later on I realised Yusuf Ndior sang in France too as earlier mentioned.

All these Douala music of 'remixed Michael Jackson songs', do some of you think they asked for permission before singing such?

Brothers and sisters, let us not be too quicked to lambaste on other people's opinion or strategies to get to a means...sometimes being constructive in our arguments brings about little enlightment...



So because Douala musicians copy Michael Jackson without authorization Manu should not complain when Michael Jackson plagiarizes his song?

And please note that this is not just about asking permission; it is about properly crediting the original author so that copyrights may be paid to him. So as Long as Douala artists credit the appropriate artists(e.g., Ben Decca remixing a Julio Iglesias song or Ekambi doing the famous Beatle classic "imagine" and both crediting the original artists) then all is well because the agencies that deal with copyrights would know what to do each time these songs are played


Interestingly when I was first Googling this I came across this article
"Colombian singer Shakira faces a millionaire lawsuit by Dominican Wilfredo Vargas for the incredible resemblance between “Waka waka” and his famous composition “El negro no puede” (The black guy can’t do it) performed by “Las Chicas del Can” (Can’s girls)" http://momento24.com/en/2010/06/17/is-waka-waka-stolen-compare-the-two-songs-see-video/,

Though Wilfredo also "borrowed" his version from the Golden Sounds, it seems he still wants to be credited with authorship....


wish we all could stand as one voice


Thank you so much for this information.

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I read this article, this article very informative and interesting..Believe me i have never ever read this type of article,
I have no Golden words to describe your thoughts and information..I refer your blog to many of my friends as well.
Thanks for sharing knowledge..


How about turning it around: everyone else free to use the logo's, music, images, videos, movies and trademarks of Puma, Disney, FiFa, SONY and others FOR FREE ALWAYS and without any restrictions?

See if they also agree and are joyful for using their intellectual properties...

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