We all know An internet rage during the Covid-19 lockdown has been the #Jerusalemachallenge, with people from across countries uploading videos dancing to Jerusalema, a song by South African DJ and record producer Master KG. A song from South Africa that has gone around the world and been endorsed by presidents and priests has become the sound of the pandemic for millions across southern Africa.
“Jerusalema” is a song by South African DJ and record producer Master KG featuring South African vocalist Nomcebo. The upbeat gospel-influenced house song was initially released on 29 November 2019 after it garnered positive response online, with a music video following on 21 December. It was later included on Master KG’s second album of the same title, released in January 2020. It was eventually released on streaming services on 10 July 2020, after it went viral during mid-2020, garnering international reaction due to the #JerusalemaChallenge. A remix featuring Nigerian singer Burna Boy was released on 19 June 2020, propelling the song onto the US Billboard charts. It has since reached number one in Belgium and Switzerland, while peaking in the top ten of multiple other European countries. A second remix featuring Venezuelan singer Micro TDH and Colombian singer Greeicy was released on 17 September 2020.
Last week the Jerusalema dance challenge was endorsed by President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the country’s plan to open up to tourism on 1 October.
The simple dance routine to the 2019 hit Jerusalema by Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode has provided an uplifting soundtrack for difficult times and has now been streamed more than 60m times on Spotify.
The upbeat song is a lamentation for God to take the singer to the heavenly city. The track topped the South African charts in December but in February, as lockdowns began to seem like a possibility, it was a group of friends in Angola who shot a video dancing to the song that sparked the global trend.
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