Shakira Recently Graduated From a University of Pennsylvania Course on Ancient Philosophy

Shakira started her musical career as a successful South American songstress who had a major crossover English-language hit with her album Laundry Service in 2001. Recently, her stunning Super Bowl performance alongside the legendary Jennifer Lopez put her back in the U.S. headlines. In fact, her popularity rose so sharply following the event that a song she performed two decades ago soared its way to the top of the charts

Many fans wonder what the talented singer and dancer does in her spare time and how she keeps busy these days. It turns out that she has some rather unique interests — including studying ancient philosophy! 

Shakira smiling holding a microphone with an NFL logo
Shakira | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Shakira is a phenomenal performer

When her family fell on hard economic times, a young Shakira turned to music as an outlet. She penned her first album at the age of 8! With her amazing talent and passion, she went on to land her first record deal when she was only 13. When she broke out on the American charts with “Whenever, Wherever,” her career really took off. She would go on to win plenty of accolades, including three Grammy awards. 

She has continued to be a presence in the American entertainment industry and even spent a season as a judge on The Voice. However, she left to spend more time with her family. Her cultural heritage is incredibly important to her, and she cites her grandmother as the source of her legendary hip-shaking skills. “I’m not a trained dancer. But I do know that I grew up in a city that revolves around dance. Dance is such an important part of our culture. I see so many kids who are so good with their bodies and the way they move to music. I think I was just one of those kids,” Shakira explained. 

Shakira has a serious interest in helping kids

While Shakira is most widely recognized for her talent as an entertainer, that’s not what she’s most proud of accomplishing. She founded the Piez Descalzos (Bare Feet) Foundation in 1997. The organization is dedicated to helping children in poverty receive the education they need to climb out of desperate circumstances. 

In 2016, her organization’s school won the immense honor of being named the top public school in all of Colombia. The singer has poured her heart and soul into this cause that is important to her. It is something she has set her sights on since her own family fell on hard times and she saw children in the park who were struggling with homelessness and poverty. She vowed then that she would one day do something about it, and she has definitely made good on her word. 

The pandemic quarantine gave Shakira time for study

Like most people around the world, Shakira has found her schedule disrupted by the pandemic crisis. She took her extra time and dedicated herself to a University of Pennsylvania online course in ancient philosophy. While the star took to Twitter to say that she recognized the “hobby” was perhaps “impractical,” she also pointed out that it was a lot of hard work. She put in the hours to complete the course at night after her kids had gone to bed. 

She and her family have been on lockdown at their home in Barcelona, Spain. The completion of the four-week online course demonstrates that Shakira is a deep thinker, and it’s likely that tendency has informed her charities and dedication to education for all. As the threat of pandemic hopefully recedes, we can keep an eye out for Shakira’s new projects and see if any of her Plato-inspired ideas make their way into new songs!