Have you ever knowingly or unknowingly heard a song, then afterwards it keeps on reverberating in your mind for days? Have you ever, while doing your normal chores, found yourself singing a song out of the blue, and you even wonder where it comes from?
Some songs are made to capture our minds and hearts, and that is how they become hit songs. Many other dynamics are involved, but captivating the mind and heart, beats the other. My dear readers, today I am in a song mood, so let us “sing.”
Who could have predicted that an Afrobeat hit song would rave the world, with millions trying to dance to its tune in 2020? Yes, “Jerusalema” is one of iconic music that has united the world and people of diverse languages and affiliations. It is sung in Zulu, but the world has fallen in love with it, and it has become a truly global phenomenon.
In the YouTube platform, it has reached more than 242.4 million views when I was penning down this column. Such huge viewership in less than a year is a great achievement for an African artist. The song was made by a South African musician and record producer, Kgaogelo Moagi (Master KG) featuring Nomcebo Zikode.
At 24 years old, Master KG has won multiple awards and managed to unite the world, the rich and the poor, people of different languages, leaders, children, youth, women and men, frontline medical workers, soldiers, airport workers etc. Yes, people from all walks of life dance to the ‘Jerusalema dance challenge’. In South Africa, the song played a big role during Covid-19 in lifting up the spirits of the people during coronavirus outbreak.
The song has united the world through the social media (when the video went viral) especially during the very depressed and stressful moment, when Covid-19 placed the world in lockdown. It gave the world a break in the dark days of the coronavirus outbreak. No wonder it won the ‘2020 Afrimma Song of the Year Award’, well deserved!
Most of us have to use google to get translated lyrics and understand it. But humming to the song trying its dance moves, the ‘Jerusalema dance challenge’, that has been viral for some time, has brought so much fun.
Master KG reminds of the South African music maestros, who made a huge mark in the world and left unforgettable classics; the late great jazz musician Hugh Masekela, late Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and Lucky Dube. He also reminds me of an American singer, songwriter, and dancer, the late Michael Jackson (29th August, 1958 – 25th June, 2009) popularly known as the “King of Pop”, whose songs like “We are the World” and “Heal the World” has a huge mark in the world. Yes, ‘Heal the World’ has been shared in YouTube in April 2020 to continue to unite the world during Covid-19.
The song creatively included Michael Jackson’s live performance of “Heal the World”, integrated with images from the global pandemic-Covid-19 to bring the message of encouragement and comfort to all people during the difficult time of coronavirus outbreak.
Master KG has rekindled global interest in African music. He joins Nigerians Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boy who have fought their way to become mainstream music stars around the world.
In 2015, Tanzanian musician Diamond Platnumz won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Africa, Middle East and India Act, propelling him to global music stardom.
Ali Kiba has managed a good number of international acts as well as numerous other musicians from home. Maybe, Tanzanian musicians might need to stop feuding and take their international act a notch higher. We’ve to move up in all industries including music and be the best in Africa.
Saumu Jumanne is an Assistant Lecturer, Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE)