JERUSALEMA: South African Master KG & Nomcebo’s Hit Song That Has Become a Global Anthem.

Not even the Covid-19 pandemic can stop it. Some of the places where the song is ruling the airwaves, as people happily perform the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge, are in the most hallowed settings such as seminaries, monasteries, churches, schools, army barracks, parliaments, and – wait for it – hospitals!



master KG and Nomcebo

South African musicians Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode, who sang “Jerusalema”. The song has since captured the world’s imagination, amid a serious Covid-19 pandemic, leading to a global dance craze dubbed #JerusalemaDanceChallenge.


By August 27, it had 102.4 million views on YouTube. By August 28th evening, the views stood just over 103.5 million; by August 30 morning, the views were 106.4 million and still counting.

On August 31, it was at 108.4M views. That was an unprecedented spike of a whopping 6 million views in 4 days, with over 2 million views in 24 hours!

In just 10 short months, since its video premiered on YouTube, currently the song has garnered over 177 million views and shows no signs of flattening its popularity curve anytime soon.



The YouTube views surge gives you a glimpse of the phenomenal rate at which the song has been growing. It is all thanks to the now-famous #JerusalemaDanceChallenge. Calling it growing in leaps and bounds could be an understatement.

Early last year, I was tasked to write an article featuring New Gqom Songs that were likely to hit in 2019. The feature was dubbed ‘The List of New Gqom Music 2019,’ meant for a South African online digital news and entertainment platform.

What is Gqom music?

Gqom is the most sought after genre of music to have originated from South Africa in recent times. The delicate blend of Durban kwaito and house sub-elements has taken global music lovers by storm. Gqom music is known for its hard-hitting, unusually heavy, and spellbinding beats, often leaving listeners in a trance.

Suffice to say, the article I wrote did well, attracting over 100,000 readers in a couple of weeks. Consequently, in February this year, I was once more requested to do a similar article dubbed “The List of New Gqom Music 2020.” 

Master Kg - Jerusalema Lyrics (Ft. Nomcebo Zikode) | AfrikaLyrics
Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode whose song “Jerusalema” is sending shockwaves across the globe. Photo courtesy of

In my research for the article, I came across a newly released Gqom song, by Master KG, featuring Nomcebo, titled “Jerusalema.” It immediately caught my attention, not just because its video on YouTube had garnered about 6 million views – in only two short months – but primarily because I thought its beats and powerfully captivating vocals were out of this world.

I found myself listening to this newly released gem about ten times in a row, yet I could not have enough of it! I had a hunch that finally, here was one monstrous African piece, about to hit the world like dynamite.

The Generational Gap

My son Ray, who was about to turn nine in four or so months, noticed that I was repeatedly listening to the same song on my laptop. He asked me why.

I paused and held my chin like one of those sages from ancient Greece, before telling him what was in my mind, “Young man, listen carefully. Here is a huge hit song that will explode soon.” 

I went on to let him have a taste of it, obviously expecting him to get excited like I was. I was dismayed when all he could say was, “Sometimes I don’t get you, dad! Is this what you are calling a hit song?”

The decades’ long generational gap between son and dad was suddenly too evident. It occurred to me that, from my excitement, the young chap was expecting some Ariana Grande club banger – or something of the sort. The songs that this young generation of today listen to yawa…! Only God can come to their rescue.

I explained to him that there was something extraordinary and sacred about this song, “Jerusalema,” but he still seemed lost. I gave up and let him go about his business, as I went back to wallow in my newfound fascination with this new fantastic song.

Jerusalema Lyrics Translated into English

Words alone can,t even begin to describe the strange spell the song casts on the listener. It is no wonder that all the characters in the song’s video look like people possessed by strange powers. Dressed in a flowing black dress, Nomcebo’s vocals, which dominate the music from beginning to end, are simply hypnotizing. The black dress and her powerful voice make her look like some eerie deity from the dark ages.

Nomcebo’s mesmerizing voice, coupled with the pulsating and infectious beats – unique to Gqom music – make the song sound deeply spiritual. One doesn’t need to understand the isiZulu language (in which the two musicians have written and sung Jerusalema) to realize that this is not just a song. It is a solemn prayer earnestly made to a higher supernatural power. The first stanza of the song below confirms this.

Jerusalema ikhaya lami (Jerusalem is my home)

Ngilondoloze (Guard me)

Uhambe nami (Walk with me)

Zungangishiyi lana (Do not leave me here)

Jerusalema ikhaya lami (Jerusalem is my home)

Ngilondoloze (Guard me)

Uhambe nami (Walk with me)

Zungangishiyi lana (Do not leave me here)

Ndawo yami ayikho lana (My place is not here)

Mbuso wami awukho lana (My kingdom is not here)

Ngilondoloze (Guard me)

Zuhambe nami (Walk with me)

When Was the Jerusalema Song Officially Released on YouTube?

Let’s cut to the chase. Do you know who sang Jerusalema? Here is what I wrote about the song “Jerusalema,” which I ironically placed at number 4 of my top ten list of Gqom music, back in February:

“Having attracted over 6 million views in less than two months since its video premiered on YouTube, on December 13, 2019, “Jerusalema” is the true definition of a hands-down smash hit. Master KG has once more confirmed that he is an unrivalled African entertainment royalty…

In this electrifying tune, he combines his unique talent with the soulful vocals of Nomcebo Zikode to produce one of the greatest dance anthems of recent times. The club banger promises to keep Gqom lovers dancing and highly entertained throughout 2020.”

Five months later, my prediction about the song not only came to pass but surpassed my wildest imaginations. Last month, when I checked out the music on YouTube, it had over 50 million views. Believe it or not, in four short weeks, the humongous hit song has doubled the 50M and is now doing over 100M views, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

On August 27, it had 102.4 million views on YouTube. When I checked, on the evening of August 28, the views stood just over 103.5 million. On August 30, morning, the views were 106.4 million and still counting. That is a whopping four million-plus views in three days! The surge in online views gives you a glimpse of the phenomenal rate at which the song has been growing. Calling it growing in leaps and bounds could be an understatement.


Best Top 5 Master KG Jerusalema Dances on YouTube.

What is the jerusalema dance challenge? You might be asking. The #JerusalemaDanceChallenge began when people started recording their creative dance moves while dancing to the Jerusalema song. However, the dancers still retain the original jerusalema dance steps in most of these dances. Below, Bird’s Eye View samples some of the most popular jerusalema dance videos online today. The videos are not in any order of popularity or number of views on YouTube.

Number #1

The recent spike in the song’s popularity is thanks to the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge that has taken the world by storm. Master KG and Nomcebo are riding on the crest of a wave, with the world dancing to their hit music, amid a severe Covid-19 pandemic. People around the globe can’t stop downloading the jerusalema official dance video.

Who Started the Jerusalema Dance Challenge? 

Master KG says the dance challenge that has sparked a huge craze across the globe started in Angola when a group of friends having a good time recorded a dance choreography video, which has since gone viral. For those who have been wondering how the jerusalema dance challenge went viral, there you have it.

Number #2

Friends having a good time during an outdoor party posted this viral video of the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge. Video courtesy of K.K.T Productions on YouTube.

Without a doubt, the viral “Jerusalema Dance Challenge” now has the world seriously shaking a leg, injecting tons of positive vibes into the gloomy Covid-19 situation.

Jerusalema Dance Tutorials are now available on YouTube and in reputable Dance Schools across the globe, just for the sole purpose of teaching Jerusalema dance moves to those interested in learning how to dance to this colossal hit song.

From Cape Town – S.A., to Budapest – Hungary; from the streets of Nairobi-Kenya to the hospital hallways in Sweden and France; to public places and rooftops in Romania; to Italy, Canada, the U.K., Jamaica, Tanzania, and the breath-taking beaches of Cape Verde; people can’t stop dancing to the highly infectious beat of “Jerusalema.”

A remix of Jerusalema, featuring famous Nigerian singer “Burna Boy,” was released on June 19, 2020, propelling the song right onto the U.S. Billboard charts. The song topped the UK Afrobeats Singles Chart on the issue dated August 15, 2020. It has since held the number one position for over two weeks now. However, currently, only the remix’s audio track featuring “Burna Boy” is available on YouTube.

Master KG – Jerusalema Remix [Feat. Burna Boy and Nomcebo] (Official Music Audio). Video courtesy of YouTube.

Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok have all gone berserk with thousands of people posting videos of themselves or others performing the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge. The original song is currently over 106.4 million views on YouTube and shows no signs of slowing down or (to put it in the Covid-19 lingo) – no signs of flattening the curve, anytime soon.

Number #3

Other countries whose streets have become “lit” with the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge include Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, and Portugal. The song even boasts of a Spanish version!

Different folks worldwide have been coming up with creative jerusalema dance moves and posting their videos online. Here is yet one more of the hottest choreography moves on YouTube, for the Jerusalema Dance Challenge, straight out of Europe.

Number #4

This smashing hit is, without any doubt, destined to go places. With more and more people dancing to it across the globe, with Jerusalema dance tutorials now being taught worldwide, it can only grow bigger. The more jerusalema dance videos keep going viral, the more the song keeps on blasting from several speakers across the globe.

Number #5

Dance Video Official© | JERUSALEMA | Master Kg feat Nomcebo – Baila con VITO e STEFANIA. Video Courtesy of latynstyle

Jerusalema is a purely African song that has claimed its rightful place and respect in the international arena. South Africans have never let the continent down in the entertainment industry and on many other fronts. Their vigorous and almost violent signature dance moves are in themselves a story for another day.

One of Nairobi’s common jokes is that if you stay too close to a South African who is dancing to Gqom music or doing a traditional jig, you are likely to end up in the severe accidents casualty section of the nearest hospital – with a dislocated jaw. That would be after one of the dangerous judo-like kicks, flying from the happily dancing person, accidentally lands on your jaw.

Jerusalema: South African song sparks viral dance steps globally |  Africanews
Master KG and Nomcebo pose in the Jerusalema official video. Photo courtesy of

Jokes aside, Jerusalema is one of those songs that make you feel proudly African. My hat remains off; my head remains bowed, with respect for this particular music and its singers.

Some of the places where the song is blasting globally, as people happily dance away their troubles, are in the most hallowed settings such as seminaries, monasteries, churches, army barracks, schools, and hospitals!

There is no doubt that the song has been one massive antidote to the pain that Covid-19 has visited on the globe. The more people keep joyfully dancing to it, the bigger the piece becomes. Just watch this space.

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