World unites in ‘Jerusalema’

A DAY is not a day worth remembering without a single encounter with the South African global hit song Jerusalema by 24-year-old artiste Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode or the dance challenge craze associated with it.


It’s a song that can easily play involuntarily in one’s heart during a moment of peace and quiet these days.

Billionaire Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo could not escape the addictive tendencies of the song after he posted a video of his family with the song playing in the background.

Early this year, American singer Janet Jackson wowed Master KG real name Kgaogelo Moagi, when she took to Instagram to share a Jerusalema dance challenge video clip.

The song, which was released last year in South Africa, has since weaved its way to almost every corner of the globe thanks to the Jerusalem dance challenge in spite of the fact that it is done in a local language.

So huge has been the song’s impact around the world that it reached the number one spot on the Top 200 France charts in July this year.

Interestingly, at a certain point, the song along its remix that features Nigerian artiste Burna Boy, made it to the top five on the charts in that country.

The version that featured Burna Boy, which was released in May this year, also reportedly took top spots on platforms like the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart in the United States.

Master KG’s hit single Jerusalema was recently named the most Shazamed song by the Apple-owned music app, while it is also currently charting on iTunes in countries such as Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

The song is one of the most popular tracks from Africa, boasting a little over 150 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded in December last year.

Ivorian ensemble Magic System’s song Magic In The Air, featuring Moroccan singer Chawky, posted on YouTube in 2014 has garnered 302 million views, which makes it the most watched song from Africa.

Uploaded in 2012, controversial South African group Die Antwoord’s 2012 song Baby On Fire has 253 million views, while Davido’s hit Fall from three years ago has more than 183 million views.

Only two other songs by Die Antwoord — Ugly Boy and I Fink U Freeky — have amassed 167 million and 156 million YouTube views, respectively.

Considering that it is less than a year old, Master’s song is poised to become the most viewed African song before year end at the rate it is progressing.

Believed to have originated in Angola, the Jerusalema dance has also had people from all walks of life falling over each other to perform it.

And just like in many other countries, corporates have joined the Jerusalema dance challenge craze as a way of marketing their brands, products and services.

The most popular Jerusalema dance challenge in Zimbabwe is one by law firm, Mtetwa and Nyambirai, which has attracted over 551 000 views on YouTube.

Bitumen World Zimbabwe’s dance challenge has also been relatively popular, netting 408 000 views as of this week with the Spar Zimbabwe one nearing 400 000 eyeballs.

Many other corporates such as ZIMOCO, Profeeds, ZBC, CBZ Bank, Dairiboard Zimbabwe ZONFUL Energy featuring comic actor Sabhuku Vharazipi and Biker Till Harare, among many others have produced dance challenges that have been a hit in the country.

Zanu PF party youths have also come up with their own version of the Jerusalema dance challenge.

Unlike other challenges, the one done by Wild Is Life and ZEN is one of the more notable ones from Zimbabwe as it includes animals.

In a viral video, elephants and giraffes from the Wild Is Life Trust’s Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN) take part in the challenge with staff members.

The organisation is based in Harare and is a sanctuary for injured wildlife.

Some have gone on to make renditions of the Jerusalema song, such as Italian group Daudia which is made up of two singers, Claudia Pasquariello and Davide Maiale who came up with an acoustic version duet which has become very popular.

Johannesburg-based group The Ndlovu Youth Choir also performed a rendition of the popular hit song with a traditional feel, which received rave reviews in South Africa and beyond.

A couple of weeks back, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa urged citizens of that country to take part in the dance challenge as a way of reflecting on where the country had come from as well as the COVID-19 challenge.

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