In this age of linkage, connection and globalisation, contemporary culture, carnival music, dance, have come to establish dynamic multiculturalism. Before the internet era, it was through music, films, documentaries, photographs we witnessed a visual representation of another country's culture.

When we found it popular we shook our hips to its tunes too.  It was somewhere in October 2010, Colombian pop sensation Shakira began to move with ease from culture to culture, role to role and language to language. 


Shakira is a cultural and social hybrid whose global reach and influences, find her roots from her Colombian heritage. The impact has been large indeed, you notice it in the rap-infused merengue (a Caribbean style dance) and in the electronic music of Columbian folk songs. 

Almost all her albums present a more authentic portrait of the musician. Her music hopscotches across the hemisphere geographically separating the West from the East, South from the North.  Shakira's association with the carnival traditions form the backdrop of her endorsement and drawing from multiple musical influences and traditions.

You can trace her popularity in South Asian countries, North American cities, South American cities, in a nutshell, where music isn't considered a sin, Shakira finds a prominent place. 

Shakira reflected her feelings of responsibility when she was commissioned to write the official anthem for the 2010 World Cup. Waka Waka (Esto es Africa), was built directly on a 1986 song by the Golden Sounds, from Cameroon that was a hit on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

In Shakira's activism and musical performances, we are meant to see the apotheosis of what Carnival represents in the popular imagination: a harmonious merging of different cultures and races that bears no traces of conflict or inequality and that has enough of a hint of exoticism to keep mainstream society entertained by the process of creolization and the cultures that it consumes.

Over the years Shakira became a symbol of cosmopolitan modernity. Here's a look at some of her unmissable songs. 

Happy Birthday, Shakira!