Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Lifestyle Reporter
At only 13, Kgaogelo Moagi was just an ordinary boy in Calais Village, Tzaneen Township, South Africa.
Unlike most of his peers who had already begun indulging in drugs, women and crime, among other vices, his tastes were a bit different.
Kgaogelo had to brave the ridicule from other boys who felt he was a coward by not joining them as he opted for the microphone.
To him, music was his first love and only the heavens would define his destiny and make him a superstar.
According to reports from across the Limpopo, some arrogant producers would turn him away without even auditioning him while others frustrated him.
The career path he chose required a lot of determination as bigger things were believed to be happening in Johannesburg — (Jo’burg), Zimbabwe’s own version of Harare where quality music studios are found.
For a boy hailing from Limpopo Province, it meant he needed to have the mojo and talent to make the break-though.
So determined was this boy who would become a superstar and rule the roost with his ground-breaking hit “Jerusalema”.
Having amassed over 100 million views owing to his beautiful video to the spiritually uplifting song “Jerusalema”, Master KG — real name Kgaogelo Moagi — is no doubt the most sought after entertainer world-over.
Master KG’s “Jerusalema” video featuring Nomcebo, which has since been turned into a fast expanding challenge, has not only won hearts of South Africans, but fans across the world.
So popular is the challenge that merrymakers from as far as Spain, Jamaica, England, Brazil and France have joined the challenge.
Some of the international celebrities who have joined the bandwagon apart from the instant viral of social media Tik-Tok, include footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and singer Janet Jackson.
It is believed that some fans are ready to give Janet Jackson a new South African name and a green ID book after she showed her love for hit single “Jerusalema” last weekend.
The star first posted about the song last week, sharing a video of a young child dancing wildly to the track on Twitter.
She returned to the platform again recently to post a video of men performing a choreographed dance to the song; captioned it: “Happy Sunday you guys” and also tagged Master KG.
Closer home, corporates and big companies like Bitumen World known for road constructions and rehabilitation, CIMAS, Avenues Clinic, Bishopslea School Zimbabwe, CBZ Bank, Carling Meats, ZIMOCO, St Elmos Zimbabwe and Holly’s Hair Studio, among others, have joined in.
Surprisingly, some St Franciscan priests and nuns took part in the challenge causing a stir on social media with people tweeting the video.
Local celebrities and individuals have not been left out as they are posting their videos of the challenge.
According to research, the track was derived from a popular hymn or chorus dubbed “Jerusalem My Home”.
“The song gives strength and hope to the tormented soul, and in such trying times of Covid-19, one can listen and watch the video repeatedly, easing their sorrows.
“It’s a challenge that has been endorsed by the world and why not take part in the contest,” said popular dancer Beverly Sibanda who can dance to anything.
“When music is good, it appeals to fans whether they understand the language or not.
“In this case, it’s a song which has made an impact owing to its spiritual appeal and of course the beat.
“I was not surprised when the challenge went viral because people want good stuff. That is the kind of support we want as artistes.
“As dancers, we can also play our part in promoting these challenges. As Zimbabweans we can learn something from the Master KG success story,” she said.
Bev said the #JerusalemaChallenge has also come as a lesson that people should embrace their own.
“We have talented artistes here who are doing well, like Jah Prayzah and Soul Jah Love. So, why not start our own challenges and embrace the social media by promoting such challenges?
“In my case, I am ready to support other artistes using my talent,” she added.
Another local trending video of the challenge was by Classy Zim Weddings.
They went all the way out as the challenge was held at Lion and Cheetah Park, in front of wild animals.
“We decided not to be left out. It involved about 30 events industry players from photographers, florists, cake bosses, caterers and masters of ceremonies among others.
“We noticed that life is not about how you survive the storm, but how you dance to it. We chose the theme ‘Dance in the rain’.
“It was choreographed by John Cole and Shawn Pias, with the script by myself, Noku Chari and Classy Zim Weddings team,” said Carol Matibiri, creative director for Classy Zim Weddings.
She added that it is no secret the global events industry has been among the hardest hit by this Covid-19 season.
“With all our peak seasons as good as cancelled and still so much uncertainty as to how much longer this season will last, it was our greatest honour as Classy Zim Weddings to bring together reps of the events industry in Zimbabwe for a catchup reunion and take on the #JerusalemChallenge reminding not only each other but the African Events Industry that we are in this together. A brighter day is in the horizon but for now let us find a moment to simply laugh and dance,” she said.
Matibiri said the challenge was filmed by KATFILMS.
However, like any other challenge, Zimbabwe’s top choreographers; John Cole, Zororo Nhira, Nathan Gutu and Tambudzai Marati should cash in as they are now teaching people and corporates new dances.
With churches, prisons, schools and colleges having endorsed the #JerusalemaChallenge, it has dawned on many a choreographer that they needed to fully utilise their talents and capabilities.
The challenge has also proved to be a universal language, which has the power to unite people.
Research has also shown that music has the power to heal broken hearts, mend rocky relationships, and build families as well as inspire future generations.
In war-torn countries, mature and danceable music and its visuals have proved to be a morale booster needed when facing daunting times.
Visuals are also needed by those merrymaking. It is high time people embrace their own.
In short, the #JerusalemaChallenge has also proved that in life people appreciate simple, yet appealing music.
In addition, it has also emerged that there is no shortcut to the top, rather than resilience, aggressive marketing and belief.
Popular Zumba instructor and choreographer, Zororo Nhira, who has so far coached employees from about 15 companies to be part of the challenge, said he still hungers for more corporates to join in.
“So far I have worked with companies such as PUMA Ashbrittle, Total Helensvale, CBZ Holdings and Baines Dental Clinic. I am in the process of working with Toyota Zimbabwe, Standard Chartered Bank, ICAZ, JET Zimbabwe, Schweppes, and am waiting for more companies to approve. Energy Park is another one. I will be travelling to Bulawayo, Chivhu and Beitbridge to instruct as well,” he said.
He said it is more like business now.
“Dancing has brought so much into my life; something beyond my own imagination. All I can say is, it has located me. I have been busy with the online classes on my page. To some extent the Covid-19 pandemic opened our eyes to reach out to every corner of the world. I have partnered with different corporates to help people in distress and to help them stay positive during this pandemic,” he added.
Asked if there were any challenges on working with different people resulting in different themes, he said it was easy only that it required an understanding of personality.
“The only challenge is brainstorming on what kind of choreography you can do which is different from everyone else’s.
For the Challenge, each company has a theme depending on what they do.
“It came as a marketing strategy as well. I can’t judge which company did, or is yet to do the best, because at the end of the day it is about having fun, uniting and building a team.
“Dancing is in the head, so once you strategise it in your mind, it’s done. It does not take time. I have my imaginary teacher who always challenges me, so I learn from him, and the biggest challenge with him is to bring originality,” he said.
Last week the Avenues Clinic celebrated healthcare workers who are at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 with a social media dance challenge which sparked a global dance frenzy recently.
It features employees of the clinic and one of the staff members’ young son. The video tells a story of critical services being provided by healthcare workers to Covid-19 patients.
The clinic encapsulated their video with a unique Covid-19 messaging to the #JerusalemChallenge which went viral on Twitter since July.
Avenues Clinic’s corporate affairs officer, Cordellia Shereni said the video was inspired by the selfless work and commitment of healthcare workers around the world, specifically in Zimbabwe and at the clinic.
She said the challenge came to mind as the clinic wanted to make people smile, dance and remain hopeful regardless of the pandemic.
“Our inspiration was from what we see on a daily basis, especially the work that healthcare workers are doing during these challenging times. Our staff has remained committed from the time that the disease was first recorded in the country up to now.
“They remain standing and unwavering despite the fear and anxiety. There was a time when some of our staff members tested positive at the same time, and we had to temporarily close our casualty unit to readjust our staff after contact tracing.
“It was difficult to see the caregiver needing assistance after a selfless effort to save patients, and got exposed to Covid-19. The height of our joy and positivity came when they recovered, and were more than happy and keen to come back on the frontline and face the enemy with more strength and resilience,” she said.
Carling Meats executive Carl Magwaza said they decided to refresh by joining the challenge.
“It was fun and at the same time detoxing and exercising. The challenge came at a good time when most people are stressed and have lost so much because of the global pandemic but the challenge unites everyone and you forget your worries,” he said.