World Cup theme song released after much controversy

Published: Saturday, December 14, 2002, 17:43 [IST]
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Durban: After months of controversy, the theme song for next year's International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in South Africa has been released.

The song, in English and the African Nguni language, was released on Friday and will be sung during the opening and closing ceremonies of the mega event. The opening ceremony will take place in Cape Town on February 8 and the closing ceremony at the Wanderers in Johannesburg in March. The original version of the song was rejected because many people considered it to be too "Eurocentric".

The composer, Sello "Chico" Twala, whose version was selected after 42 submissions from different artistes and record companies, said the song reflected the "Africanness" of South Africa. "It's a song that truly reflects who we are. It's an African song that everybody will be proud of and participate.

The song reflects the true African beat and tradition", he said. ICC World Cup chief executive officer (CEO) Ali Bacher said he was confident the song would be well received by all South Africans. "It reflects Africa and who we are," he said. The CD will be available to the public in stores from next week.

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