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September 27, 2020 3:58 pm

South African Song Paying Tribute to Jerusalem Sparks Viral Dance Challenge

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Worshipers pray in distance from each other at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, amid coronavirus restrictions, March 26, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

An upbeat gospel-inspired tune from South Africa that pays tribute to the city of Jerusalem and inspired a viral dance challenge has now been endorsed by the country’s president.

“Jerusalema,” by local musician Master KG, features singer Nomcebo Zikode, and was released on YouTube in November 2019. According to news channel News24, the song, which was recorded in the Zulu language, went viral earlier this year after the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge started trending on social media.

On Heritage Day, September 24, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged South Africans to do the “Jerusalema” dance challenge to celebrate the “diverse heritage of our nation.” The song was also performed by American singer Janet Jackson and Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

So far, the music video for the song has been viewed more than 157 million times.

Fans in countries around the world – including Spain, Italy, France, Jamaica and Canada – filmed themselves doing pre-set dance moves to the song and uploaded the clips onto social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.

On September 8, the music app Shazam announced on Instagram that “Jerusalema” was the most “Shazamed” song in the world.

“It is so wonderful to see the love from all over the world,” said Master KG.“I used to dream of such moments when I was still underground and starting to make music.”

Watch the music video for “Jerusalema” below.

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