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Benni swops boots for mic

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By Therese Owen

Just a few days to go before the African Cup of Nations and aside from poor ticket sales and Bafana Bafana not scoring goals (which is the reason why football was invented) there is stille something to smile about.

Benni McCarthy (pictured) has recorded a track with top hip hop producer, Dome, called Viva Afrika which could become the next soccer anthem. The track is a collaboration with the hip hop crew Team Tswara and features the world famous striker, who, unfortunately, is unable to participate in Afcon because of an injury.

His last studio track was recorded in 1998 when he featured on the TKZee song, Shibobo, which to date is the biggest selling single in South Africa’s music history.

Said McCarthy: “With the TKZee track the lyrics were written for me so I just had to go into the studio and record them. But with Viva Afrika I put down the lyrics myself.

“I was nervous as hell, but the guys made me feel at ease,” he continued.

McCarthy said he rapped about his experiences in football over the years: “I have achieved more than what most African players have achieved and I wanted to put those experiences down. The song is an African anthem that associates with many African themes. It encourages Africans to believe in themselves and work together.”

He met Dome and rappers Diva Boy and Rytious, who perform on the track, through his manager.

“These are up-and-coming rappers and they are very talented. They need a break and maybe through using me they can reach the big time. I recorded this mainly for the boys.”

McCarthy has also recorded a track for his soccer club, Orlando Pirates, where last year he enjoyed a successful season. In the song he thanks his fans for all their support. The song is called Amabagabaga.

Both tracks were produced by the established Dome who has created beats for Slikour, HHP, Skwatta Kamp and PRO.

“Benni is such a cool guy. He came prepared and had listened to the tracks beforehand. We had already laid down the beats with football anthems and nation build- ing as our inspiration,” said Dome.

McCarthy also said it was a lot of fun as music is an important part of his life. Aside from these two songs, he features in AKA’s hit video Jealousy and was recently tricked into performing Shibobo by TKZee at a gig. “I never get butterflies when I play football, but performing live on stage, I get so nervous.”

This latest foray into music does not mean he wants a future career in music. His focus, says his management team, is and always will remain firmly on soccer and the role he plays in Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana.

 

• The MTN download code for Viva Afrika is 3332933 and for Amabagabaga is 3332931.

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