South Africa: Jerusalema - a Catalyst for a Better Life in South Africa


From school grounds in the Western Cape to office blocks in Limpopo, from the informal settlements of Durban to the streets of Kimberley, from the classrooms of Angola to the beaches of Miami to the soccer fields of Portugal: Jerusalema fever has spread around the world like a feel-good virus.

Jerusalema has been downloaded from YouTube or listened to 120 million times. The mega soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, with more than 230 million social media followers, recently shared the song and dance on his website during a family gathering. More than 44 million of his followers subsequently listened to or downloaded the song on their phones.

International fame

The gospel-inspired song was released in November 2019. After a positive reception on online platforms, a music video followed on 21 December. Thanks to a remix by the Nigerian-born Burna Boy in June, the song made the leap to the USA hit parade.

The Jerusalema dance is in the popular dance style of the Zezuru Shona people of Zimbabwe. Angolan youths were the first to dance Jerusalema in July 2020. The rest is history.

Jerusalema virtually became famous overnight thanks to the #JerusalemaChallenge: individuals, groups, workers, schools and even politicians challenged one...

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