Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Time for Rafica

(same place - different night)

A few months ago I was introduced to official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, "Waka Waka." I don't know how I didn't know this song before but life got a little better now that I do. 

On the superficial level, before I actually listened to the words, I would dance with Rafa to this song, singing the chorus... the only lyrics I knew at the time. I would bounce her around the living room singing, "It's time for Rafica." (The real words are "It's time for Africa.") Then, I replaced the title and instead of singing "Waka Waka eh eh" I'd sing "Rafa Rafa eh eh." It became this cute little song I'd sing her and she would smile with her toothless gums and giggle so I continued to sing it. 

And then one night, at the bluffs, one of the best spots I've come to know here in Dominican Republic, one of those moments when Universe perfectly aligns revealed itself. A friend of ours was asking how to let go and just enjoy each moment of this amazing adventure and the Universe, who is always listening, heard her question and allowed me to be there to help show her. 

The night sky had replaced the glowing sun but the stars' light radiated enough twinkle to illuminate our evening outdoors. Tailgating style, we sat in the back of our SpaceWagon, looking at our friends, good friends, in front of us. Some were directly in front of us sitting in a circle on beach chairs and blankets, laughing. Others were scattered in other groups talking about fill in the blank. While others still, were just looking out into the ocean that the bluff overlooked.

This song, "Waka Waka" blasted through the speakers of our car's radio, as if Universe wanted us to recognize that moment through the lens of a music video.

I said to her, "Stop. Look around. These people here are all our friends. We are living on an island that most people vacation on. Recognize this moment. This is how you just enjoy each moment. Watch." 

The three of us, in our own bubble for that 3 minutes and 31 seconds were like little birds watching and sharing a moment when it all makes sense. When you recognize that, like my good friend, Shayna (aka Goose - yes... too much Top Gun) always says, "Life is gooooood."

We would nudge each other in the gut with our elbows in a "are you watching this" way. We couldn't believe that we had just been talking about life being what you make it everyday and here was this song, playing as the soundtrack to our moment, reminding us.

The pressure's on

I feel it

But you got it all

Believe it

And when it couldn't get any better, when the global sound of the song that was bringing us together had reached what we thought couldn't get higher, one of my favorite people, Beckett, the bighearted drifter of our group, who is madder than the hatter, began to dance. Not regular dancing that you might see in a club, but like official dancing. He was doing the official dance of the "Waka Waka" dance that Shakira and the audience of the World Cup did. We watched and listened and enjoyed that moment with a light as bright as the stars out that night.

After that night, I started listening to that song with different ears. And a song that had already held special meaning to me because of "Rafica" now dug way deep into my life. It motivated me. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Get back in the saddle. Isn't that it after all? No one faces a life sans battles or adversities to overcome, so all we could do is believe that we are where we are for a reason and get on with it... do it. (Which is not a coincidence. "Waka Waka" in Fang language means, "Do it.") 

We all have a soundtrack. And this song that I comically dubbed Rafa's name into, accidentally became one of the opening tracks to the soundtrack of her life and a part of mine as well. I'm sure that when she is an All-Star athlete (as daddy hopes) and struggling in her own game, I will think of this song and Believe that she has everything she needs to do it. And I hope she'll be thinking the same.

Today's your day, 
I feel it

You paved the way,

Believe it

... If you get down - get up, oh oh
When you get down - get up, eh eh

* It's time for Rafica *

Video and the lyrics of Shakira's "Waka Waka," the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup:

"Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)"

You're a good soldier
Choosing your battles
Pick yourself up
And dust yourself off
Get back in the saddle

You're on the front line
Everyone's watching
You know it's serious
We are getting closer
This isn't over

The pressure is on
You feel it
But you got it all
Believe it

When you fall get up, oh oh
If you fall get up, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Cuz this is Africa
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

Listen to your God
This is our motto
Your time to shine
Don't wait in line
Y vamos por todo

People are raising
Their expectations
Go on and feed them
This is your moment
No hesitations

Today's your day
I feel it
You paved the way
Believe it

If you get down get up, oh oh
When you get down get up, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

[Zolani sings]
Ame la mejole biggi biggi mubbo wa ET to Zet
Asi tsu zala makyuni biggi biggi mubbo from East to West
Asi waga waga ma eh eh waga waga ma eh eh
Tendency suna tsibuye cuz this is africa...

Django eh eh 
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a

This time for Africa

We're all Africa


  1. Great post! I love the remix you were doing with Rafa. It's great to hear how people can take stuff to the next level.

    I forgot that I have this song on my iTunes. I forgot how much I like it. I forgot how much the World Cup and everything around it, like 9-11 did, brings people together across so many divides....real talk!

    Me gusta mucho escuchar tus "insights" and the looks to the future while reflecting on the past and making the now a more profound place. Keep it up.

    1. Becke - Comments like this are the reason I write. Thank you for your inspiration and for being a fellow writer that can relate to my journey.


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