The exciting life of William Mebarak, Shakira’s father: priestly vocation, two weddings and the death of his son

The exciting life of William Mebarak, Shakira’s father: priestly vocation, two weddings and the death of his son
The exciting life of William Mebarak, Shakira’s father: priestly vocation, two weddings and the death of his son

Published · June 24, 2024, 1:13 p.m.

In recent years, there has been serious concern about the health of

William Mebarak, Shakira’s father, who at the time of writing these lines had just received a medical discharge in Barranquilla, where he had remained in the ICU and where his daughter had traveled, always very attentive to his father and adapting his schedule to his needs. . With unusual strength, after about three weeks of hospitalization she received

medical discharge at the Iberoamerican Clinic and returned home to his people.

Shakira’s fame is so overwhelming that the story of her father, William Mebarak, has been eclipsed, especially in Spain, where in recent times the focus had been on her dramatic breakup with Gerard Piqué and her problems with the Treasury. For this reason, it is worth remembering the legendary figure of this man born in New York on September 6, 1931 in New York.

Coming from a family of Lebanese origin, something that has been reflected in Shakira’s musical legacy and influence,

He emigrated to Colombia when he was only nine years old. Regarding his concerns, we could say that they have been very varied, because he even considered becoming a priest. He held various jobs, he was a jeweler, medical visitor, merchant, announcer, journalist and literature professor.

Author of the book ‘In the wind and at random’, in which he reflects many of his experiences, no one better than him to tell them in his own words

why he left his religious vocation aside and his subsequent future: «My father didn’t want to, he was scared, because he didn’t have any male brothers and I only had a very little brother. He was terrified that his last name, Mebarak, would be lost. He changed my school, I started meeting girls… And that ended my vocation! Later I wanted to be a writer and a doctor, but I had a very crazy youth, to be honest… Motorcycles, cars, drinks, partying, girls… I’m ashamed to say that I was very unstable,” he said in an interview in La Vanguardia.

It is not trivial to remember that William Mebarak is

father of eight more children besides Shakira, fruit of a previous marriage. The eldest, William, died. Shakira’s father is Catholic and at the time declared himself an Obama voter. The singer dedicated a song to him, ‘There are loves’, which is included in the soundtrack of ‘Amar en tiempo del cholera’, a film adaptation of the famous novel by Gabriel García Márquez.

Shakira’s parents, in an image from January of this year. /


William Mebarak’s first wife

Her name was Lucila Otero and her children have led a very discreet life, away from the media. Lucila is a neurosurgeon, she had a clinic in Tenerife, but later she returned to Barranquilla; Tonino, is the singer’s manager and investor, then Patricia arrived, later, José Antonio, who is a businessman, and Alberto, currently a lawyer. Shakira’s other four siblings are Robin, Moisés, Ana and Edward, all anonymous. The first-born, William, is the one who died and it was a very hard blow for the family.

«I stabilized around the time my first son, William, was born. I felt an inner transformation. Then I was able to tell my father ‘here I give you an heir’. I calmed down, started working in the press and then had seven more children with my wife. But unfortunately,

William died in an accident, driving his car. They ran him over. It was many years ago, but I still cry when I think about it,” he said in an interview in La Vanguardia in 2013.

The great love of his life, Shakira’s mother

However, the family broke up when Shakira’s mother, Nidia del Carmen Ripoll Torrado, burst into his life. It was a crush that she couldn’t resist, as he himself said: “She worked in a friend’s company. And one day I saw the wind blowing her skirts against her legs, and I fell in love with her. I thought, ‘Your peace of mind is over, William,’ because I was a married man then. And when we consolidated our relationship, our daughter Shakira was born.

Shakira’s mother She has always been very discreet, to such an extent that it is known as “the invisible one.” She has been with her husband for almost 50 years and she taught her daughter to be very disciplined. She always asked her to get better grades and she accompanied her throughout her early professional journey since she became known at the age of 10 when she became known on the television program ‘Looking for a child artist’. She also stoically endured her husband’s professional ruin, from which they knew how to recover, and in recent years, although she has had the occasional health scare, she has dedicated herself body and soul to taking care of her husband. her.

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