Where were you during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010? Where you with friends watching your nation play? Or were you at home sitting on the couch without even having a clue about what was going on? Regardless if you were involved in being part of the World Cup in some form or not having an idea of it existing, K’Naan’s song titled “Waving Flag” was a potential song to be the tournament’s anthem. Also, if you have heard the song, you know its has a very upbeat rhythm that highlights the idea of unity within nations. K’Naan specifically states in his song “celebration it surrounds us, every nation, all around us.” These lyrics are one of the many in his verses that emphasize the theme of unification. However, what if I told you that this song initially was about poverty and struggle? It’s hard to believe but it’s true.

When K’Naan wrote the song, he intentionally wrote it based on the lives of people in Somalia. He used it as an inspiration for the people to be optimistic about the opportunities and freedoms to come in the near future. Since K’Naan has a dual nationality with both Canada and Somalia, he recognizes the hardships of the people who live in Somalia. It is evident that his life of living in both countries allowed him to compare two countries and emphasize the adversities of Somalia to a first world nation. Specifically, the lyrics to one of his verse states, “so we struggling, fighting to eat and we wondering when we’ll be free, so we patiently wait, for that fateful day, it’s not far away, so for now we say…” This is well written from the artist because not only does it summarize the major difficulties that Somalia people face but also it gives him and the people a motivation to continue to fight through the pain and oppression.

Despite the original song, the celebration remix made for the world cup also has positive intentions, yet it does not expose the poverty and oppression of a country. Rather it maintains a clean version of demonstrating unity within a group of people, specifically the countries playing in the world cup.


Sources: “”Wavin’ Flag” Lyrics.” K’NAAN LYRICS. N.p., n.d. Web. 013 Sep. 2015. <http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/knaan/wavinflag.html>.

“”Wavin’ Flag (The Celebration Mix)” Lyrics.” K’NAAN LYRICS. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sep. 2015. <http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/knaan/wavinflagthecelebrationmix.html>.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 13 Sep. 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavin%27_Flag>.