Shakira does Waka Waka in Soweto school

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Pop star Shakira performed the African Waka Waka dance at a school in Soweto on Wednesday as she prepared for her World Cup opening concert performance.

Dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt with a lion face shaped like Africa, the 33-year old singer spent hours sharing her childhood experiences with the students before teaching them a few of her dance steps.

Shakira will sing the official World Cup anthem "Waka Waka — Time for Africa." She will also perform at FIFA's Thursday kickoff concert, which also features Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas and others. The World Cup starts Friday.

"The World Cup is such an amazing event, I am honored to be a part of this," Shakira said.

Shakira's song takes its inspiration from Cameroonian music, but some local fans in South Africa have questioned whether a Colombian is the right choice to represent Africa's first World Cup.

At the school in Soweto, a group of students entertained the star with South African folk music and dancing before asking her questions about her first teacher and first day at school.

Sitting surrounded by children, Shakira recalled how she cried during her first day at school, but emphasized the value of learning.

"I wish that every kid in the world has a happy childhood and access to a good education," she said.