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50 million & counting: how this S.African song rose to become a global anthem of unity

Never before in recent history, in the middle of a global pandemic has a song, right from the heart of Africa, managed to unite the human race and bring together different cultures and communities across the globe like this - right now.

Master KG’s latest hit – feat Nigeria’s superstar Burna Boy and SA’s own rising female star Nomcebo Zikode – the ‘Jerusalema’ remix is one such an extraordinary song; effortlessly uniting nations across the planet – from nuns, priests to newly weds and just about every man in the streets – to become an unprecedented digital hit amassing 50 million YouTube views and counting.

From South Africa to London, America, Spain and Switzerland, the song has gone viral globally in a way never imagined – not even by Master KG himself – with a group of Fransciscan priests and nuns, and another delightful gathering of nurses in France even creating their own versions of the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge, which has gone viral too on various social media platforms.

Not only has the song had us dancing our sorrows away during these difficult times of coronavirus, proving not only how music both unites and transcends the limit of culture and language. It has had many a music fans suggesting it should officially be made a global anthem of hope and unity.

Reacting to the news, the Limpopo-born musician took fans back to 2018 when the released the hit single ‘Skeleton Move‘, which amassed over 23 million views shortly after its release.

“Two Years Ago I dropped Skeleton Move Which did 23 million views MY first single As mainstream Artist..Looking today #Jerusalema Doing Even More it Makes Me A Emotional..and Happy. Thank you GOD for Taking Me This Far..I’m Looking Foward For More????????????,” he shared this on Twitter.

In another tweet, he wrote: “I remember last Year, 29 August 2019 10pm Making #Jerusalema With @Nomceboziko. We Never Thought it Will Go This Far..This Shows that GOD has Time For everything…Thank You Everyone Involved in The success Of This Song.”

The multi-platinum selling musician has garnered heaps of praises locally and abroad, with the South African Department of Arts and Culture sending a special appreciation tweet to him and his fellow collaborators for this major feat.

Here’s how the rest of Mzansi reacted to the news:

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Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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