His own team have yet again failed to qualify, thanks to defeats that fans blame variously on poor midfielding, questionable refereeing and the small matter of gun battles disrupting pre-tournament training. But, when the World Cup gets underway next month, the voice of Somali-born Keinan Warsame will be echoing around the stadium at every single match during the four-week contest.
Wavin’ Flag, an upbeat rap that urges fans around the world to “rejoice in the beautiful game”, hopes to do for hip hop on the terraces what Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma did for opera.
Watch the Wavin’ Flag Video
On a brief visit to London, its composer admits that, in the absence of a home team to root for, he will not be shifting his allegiances to Fabio Capello’s men.
“I do admire Chelsea as a team, but, when it comes to the tournament itself, I will be supporting the Ivory Coast,” said the singer, who styles himself K’Naan (Somali for “traveller”).
“Whoever you support, though, the World Cup is a great occasion for Africa. It is so often a place that is seen as a backdrop to negative things, but this will hopefully balance it out and allow the world to see Africa in a more positive way.”
…Coca Cola’s selected K’naan’s song after a search involving hundreds of artists. The quality of his music and his personality and life story were more important than whether he was South African or not, said Joe Belliotti, the firm’s global entertainment marketing chief.
“We went through hundreds of demos and recommendations for songs and artists that fitted the bill, and K’Naan ticked a whole laundry list of things,” he said. “He has the connection to Africa, he is not a fly-by-night pop star, and his song is very indicative of celebration…”
Read more here