We Challenge You To Take Up The Jerusalema Dance Craze!

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We Challenge You To Take Up The Jerusalema Dance Craze!

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Everyone is taking up the Jerusalema dance challenge — or has already done so — and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen quite a few of them on your social media feeds.

It isn’t just a millennials’ TikTok craze either. The challenge has gone mainstream with entire police forces from around the world getting involved. It has been endorsed by presidents and priests and has become the sound of the pandemic for millions across not just southern Africa, but across the globe.

There haven’t been many opportunities to create a sense of community in the past year with lockdowns, travel bans, and strict social distancing rules in place in most countries. Not surprisingly, in these times, the internet has become a place of refuge to stay connected. The song owes much of its popularity to the strange alchemies of the internet under lockdown last year which helped viral trends hop across regions and oceans. It also flipped a cultural switch with a global movement that started in Africa and was then imitated throughout the world.

Here, we’ve answered a few questions about it. Are you ready to take up the challenge?

Q. What is the Jerusalema Challenge?

It is a dance performed to the song Jerusalema. The song itself is a gospel-influenced house piece by South African producer Master KG and performed by singer-songwriter Nomcebo. It has provided an uplifting soundtrack for the covid-ridden times and has been streamed more than 96 million times on Spotify and uploaded more than 145 million times on YouTube.

Q. In what language is the Jerusalema song sung?

The original song is in the Zulu language but it has become popular across the globe reaching number one in the charts in many countries across the world.

LyricsO wanitwa mos, O wanitwa mos
Master Master KG
O wanitwa mosJerusalema ikhaya lami
Ngilondoloze
Uhambe nami
Zungangishiyi lanaJerusalema ikhaya lami
Ngilondoloze
Uhambe nami
Zungangishiyi lanaNdawo yami ayikho lana
Mbuso wami awukho lana
Ngilondoloze
Zuhambe namiNdawo yami ayikho lana
Mbuso wami awukho lana
Ngilondoloze
Zuhambe namiNgilondoloze ngilondoloze ngilondoloze
Zungangishiyi lanaNgilondoloze ngilondoloze ngilondoloze
Zungangishiyi lanaNdawo yami ayikho lana
Mbuso wami awukho lana
Ngilondoloze
Zuhambe namiNgilondoloze ngilondoloze ngilondoloze
Zungangishiyi lanaNgilondoloze ngilondoloze ngilondoloze
Zungangishiyi lana

Music is the universal language, after all.

Q. What is the song about?

The song, which will have you tapping your feet or dancing on the spot, is a lamentation for God to take the singer to the heavenly city.

“Jerusalem is my home

Guide me

Take me with You

Do not leave me here.”

Emotional videos of healthcare workers in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Italy, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the US, Australia and Puerto Rico have become an uplifting source of hope for patients fighting Covid-19.

Q. Who started the Jerusalema Challenge?

The dance trend began in February last year. Fenómenos do Semba, a group in Angola, south-west Africa, recorded themselves dancing to the song. They did it while eating and without dropping their plates.

Of course, it started going viral almost immediately and then exploded into the social media feeds and music of the western world earlier this year.

Q. What other countries have done the Jerusalema Challenge?

Maybe an easier question to answer would be: which countries have not done the Jerusalema Challenge?

It’s been done all over the world. It started in Africa and spread to Europe, Asia, the USA — even Israel’s Jerusalem itself.

Q. What is the most famous Jerusalema challenge?

Probably, the answer to that — apart from the original — is the one from the Irish police force, the Gardaí. Their’s went viral almost immediately upon being uploaded to social media and appeared on websites, newspapers and even the national news for days afterwards.

Ireland’s Gardaí have done one of the best Jerusalema dances

The Swiss Police, who had initially challenged the Gardaí to try and beat their Jerusalema dance, even admitted defeat– later hanging an Irish tricolour out the window of the police building

Swiss Police in Zug challenged Ireland’s Gardaí

Q. How do I take part in the Jerusalema Challenge?

Here’s how:

Firstly, find someone to perform the dance reel with you– preferably your family or someone in your ‘bubble’ (to adhere to Covid-19 regulations).

Learn the steps and record yourselves performing the dance. There’s a tutorial for the steps on Youtube which you can find here.

Then, just do your own thing! Ireland’s Gardaí showcased some of Ireland’s most famous scenery, the original Fenómenos do Semba held on to their dinner plates the whole time– have fun with it.

Once you’re happy with it, upload your Jerusalema dance video to social media, using the tag #JerusalemaChallenge and tag your friends or family.

Go for it! We challenge you and we’d love to see your attempts!

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