Way Before Shakira Reached Puberty, the Waka Waka Was Called ‘El Negro no Puede’

If you are remotely familiar with Univision and it’s exclusive Spanish-language rights to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, I’m certain you have heard the now ubiquitous Waka-Waka, a melody everybody wants us to believe was written from scratch by the super famous 33-year old Colombian singer Shakira.

Well… years before the hip-queen even reached puberty, the Waka-Waka was already a sensation, first performed live on Latin American television by the wonderful Las Chicas del Can, under the original title of Waka-Waka: El Negro no puede, freely translated by myself as: Waka-Waka The Black Guy Can’t Get it Up.

So, without further ado, here are both versions. Watch and judge for yourselves…

Which is your favorite Waka-Waka?

Hat tip: Carlitos [manito] Tropical


This entry was posted in Latin America, Music, Soccer, Television, World Cup and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Way Before Shakira Reached Puberty, the Waka Waka Was Called ‘El Negro no Puede’

  1. I like the New version by Shakira, especially the dance. That was some good research you did.

  2. Antonio Rual says:

    Is it only me or Univison -AND SHAKIRA- owe us an apology? This is so much better the 80s version! ha ha ha

  3. Joel says:

    Waka Waka is actually a South African word meaning go for it.

  4. Has Shakira CLAIMED it was an ORIGINAL production ? ? OBVIOUSLY, it is not. Clearly.

    So, if she HAS claimed it was an original song ..she needs to apologize AND compensate the original artist.

    Either way …it sucks lol However, I like the ORIGINAL version better because for the time it was made ..it was pretty decent. You have to realize it was 28 YEARS ago. Shakira is hotter ..but hello ..it’s 2010 ! lol

    • cn says:

      the lady that wrote this blog and you need to check the facts before spilling crap about others. first of all las chicas del can where the ones that stole the african language part from a popular song made by a camerun group called Golden sounds back in 1986, las chicas del can song and albun came out in the year 1988 not 1982.

      this song is really popular in africa and often used as a marching song. Shakira never said she wrote the song, she said she work with a famous group from africa called freshlyground to make an “adaption” in English and Spanish for the world cup.

  5. I miss “Las Chicas Del Can” I used to call them “Las chicas del perro” but that’s a whole other story.

  6. Oh man… you can’t compare them! Next to Las Chicas del Can Shakira is an explosion of energy. For my money, way better in engaging with her audience. With all due respect to the OTI Festival of 28 years ago… that’s like preferring a Ford Fairmont or something like that to an Alfa Romeo Spyder Convertible. Get real.

  7. Joe says:

    A lot of leg and big hair, these Chicas were hot in 82! Latinos were non-existent on MTV, which was in infancy then. They were entertainers who worked the audience with their moves and their smiles (and did I say legs?). Shakira is now the torch bearer but credit should go where credit is due.

  8. matias says:

    the real song is from cameroon, a group named golden sounds, google ikipedia it or youtube it, you’ll see is true.
    the group was widely known in africa for their hit zangalewa.

    la canción real es de camerún, un grupo llamdo golden sounds, esta en google, wikipedia, y youtube. la cancion se llam zangalewa.

  9. Rachel77 says:

    plagiarizing is never ok, why do celebrities think they can make money off ignorant cameroon musicians? for instant michael jackson’s “com sai mi sa makossa”, missy elliots/timbaland “douala by night”, shakira and many others. these cameroonians maybe poor but not stupid and please somebody ie we should speak out. In school people get expelled for plagiarizing and even placed on academic probation for 10years. this is stealing. shame on these people and all those thinking of such act for the future.

  10. King bee says:

    not the first time Shakira plagiates a song, she has done it before copying The Pretenders’ song “I’ll stand by you” with another version she called “Estoy aquí”, it’s the same melody.

    She is a fraud with a hideous voice. Not even her dancing is real, it’s arabic dance, nothing new.

    • William Robinson says:

      Both the Pretenders and Shakira sampled Bach’s Minute in G, which is why the two songs sound similar (at least the opening bars). Shakira does do a great cover of I’ll Stand By You, performing at the Hope for Hati concert. Ans as others pointed out, she did not claim to have written Waka Waka.

  11. Dr. Okwen Collins says:

    The song is from Cameroon. Waka waka, zangalewa, anawa tata are all from Cameroonian languages Pidgin and Ewondo. Both la chicas del can and shakira borrowed from the cameroonian folk song. It has been sung for generations but was first arranged by the group Zangalewa or Golden Sounds. It is an anthem for the Cameroonian army and has been since the second world war.

  12. Dr. Okwen Collins says:
    • big ben says:

      I was born in Ghana, in 1958, and i remember soldiers singing this song in the 60″s We kids also sang it. This is a marching song African soldiers brought from the Indian subcontinent (so, I think), during the second world war, and that is why it is sang all over Africa. Ask any retired Nigerian or Ghanaian soldier who served in the 50’s and 60’s and the will confirm my statement.

  13. Aida says:

    Tsamina or Zangaléwa is a 1986 hit song, originally sung by a makossa group from Cameroon called Golden Sounds who were beloved throughout the continent for the dances and costumes. The song was such a hit for Golden Sounds that they eventually changed their name to Zangaléwa, too. The song pays tribute to African skirmishers (a.k.a tirailleurs) during WW II. Most of the band members were in the Cameroonian Army themselves and used make up, fake bellies, and fake butts for comic relief.
    The song is still used today almost everywhere in Africa by soldiers, policemen, boy scouts, sportsmen, and their supporters, usually during training or for rallying. It is also widely used in schools throughout the continent especially in Cameroon as a marching song and almost everyone in the country knows the chorus of the song by heart. The song was also popular in Colombia where it was known as “The Military” and brought to the country by West African DJs.

    The men in the group often dressed in military uniforms, wearing pith helmets and stuffing their clothes with pillows to appear like they had swollen butts from riding the train and fat stomachs from eating too much. The song, music historians[who?] say, is a criticism of black military officers who were in league with whites to oppress their own people. The rest is Cameroonian slang and jargon from the soldiers during the war.
    According to Jean Paul Zé Bella, the lead singer of Golden Sounds, the chorus came from Cameroonian “sharpshooters who had created a slang for better communication between them during the Second World War”. They copied this fast pace in the first arrangements of the song. They sang the song together for freedom in Africa.
    The lyrics, which are in a Central African language called Fang, read like this:
    Tsa mina mina eh eh
    Waka waka eh eh
    Tsa mina mina zangalewa
    Ana wam ah ah
    Zambo eh eh
    Zambo eh eh
    Tsa mina mina zangalewa
    Wana wa ah ah

    Meaning of the words in Fang language
    Tsaminamina means Come.
    Waka waka means Do it – as in perform a task. Waka is pidgin language meaning walk while working.
    Tsaminamina zangalewa means Who asked you to come?.
    Wana means It’s mine.
    Zambo means Wait.

    Covers
    Many other artists around the world have previously sampled this song as well. Some of the artists who have sampled the song are:
    Las Chicas Del Can, their version is called “El negro no puede”.
    The Surinamese group Beatmachine. Their version is called “Samina Mina”.
    Adane Best
    The movie The Lion King also feature samples of this song.[citation needed]
    Los Condes
    Vic Nees
    Bestmachine (Suriname) Samina mina
    Tom Pease in Daddy Starts To Dance! (1996)
    Trafassi (Suriname), El Negro No Puede (Waka Waka) (1997) [4]
    Blacks à braque and the Tambours majeurs from the album Les Hauts de Rouen percutent…
    Cape Town Waka Waka [5] [6] [7]
    Laughing Pizza in Pizza Party (2004)
    Nakk in Zamina (2006)
    Zaman in Zamina (2006) [8]
    Didier Awadi (“Zamouna”) from the album Sunugaal (2008)
    BB DJ, Enfant Poli
    Shakira, Waka Waka, esto es Africa (World Cup 2010)
    Mr. Tucker, Zamina Zamina Pele
    Trafassi, their version is called “El negro no puede” and it’s in the album “Tropicana (disc 1)”
    Massamba Diouf.

    • You have spoken my mind. I am a Cameroonian and i hate when lazy people take credit for something which is not originally theirs.
      I grew up singing this song in the 80’s in school during soccer training and during match past on national days. I still have the video back at home. What the hell is Shakira and this other quack Dominican Republic artist, Wilfredo Vargas claiming.
      I am just so sorry that person who wrote the song is not suing them. Because i would have loved to see where this ends.
      If you need the original video and other prove, contact me or visit me on
      http://erasmodelavega.wordpress.com

  14. KALETA says:

    THIS SONG IS FROM CAMEROUN AFRICA…PERIOD……..CASE CLOSE……….IF THIS DEBATE CONTIUES UNABATED..I LL WRITE MY OWN VERSION AND BLAME IT ON SHAKIRA

    • big ben says:

      I was born in Ghana, in 1958, and i remember soldiers singing this song in the 60″s We kids also sang it. This is a marching song African soldiers brought from the Indian subcontinent (so, I think), during the second world war, and that is why it is sang all over Africa. Ask any retired Nigerian or Ghanaian soldier who served in the 50’s and 60’s and the will confirm my statement.

  15. edita mae says:

    See the original version by the musicians who created the song The Golden Sounds, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtsEMMr2AAE

    Incidentally the group WAS FORMED in 1982 this video is FROM a television program taped in 1989

  16. Alan says:

    September and October I sailed by dhow from Ibo island in Mozambique along the Quirimbas and the Tanzanian coast to Zanzibar, and everwhere, and I mean EVEYWHERE, I heard the children sing this song. I thought it was all down to Shakira, but now I know different.

  17. Gabe says:

    “The black guy can’t get it up” is incorrectly translated. “El negro” translates not as “the black guy,” but as “cuz” which is correct and also in line with the feminist theme of the song and group. I hope you update your blog…great post 😀

  18. gaston says:

    i like better the ones from 1982 why caz im spanish.. well mostly caz its bette rthan shakiras… sorry shakira!

  19. suriiiiiiii says:

    well ok the original song is from afric but there is much more than zangalewa to the lyrics. that las chicas del can, put and shakira took that too. i bet the courus is the only thing anyone even knows in the songs. the only thing i hear in the african one is zangalewa and thats it. wilfrido vargas, creator of las chicas del can, asked permission to use the song and shakira did not ask wilfrido if she can use what he aslo added to the song. so she is wrong. plus she doesnt write her songd she kinda sees the next big thing and tags along like she did to another dominican artist , el cata. the used crazy ” loca” and she used rabiosa from him wich he had made around the 2004 or 2007 around those times.

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  21. Bella Crown says:

    And looooooong before “Las Chicas del Can” reached this stage (in the video), Golden Sound from Cameroon wrote the original Waka Waka song. The song reached Colombia’s Caribbean Atlantic Coast and became a favorite “champeta” song which is why Shakira knows this song. Also, it is played at soccer games in Cameroon and other countries in Africa. Which is why Shakira decided to remake and sample the song.

  22. Bella Crown says:

    And looooooong before “Las Chicas del Can” reached this stage (in the video), Golden Sound from Cameroon wrote the original Waka Waka song. The song reached Colombia’s Caribbean Atlantic Coast and became a favorite “champeta” song which is why Shakira knows this song. Also, it is played at soccer games in Cameroon and other countries in Africa. Which is why Shakira decided to remake and sample the song for the world cup. No one remembers the Dominican group, sadly, they had potential, but their time in Latin stardom was very short. Too short for anyone to think Shakira took donating from them.

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