Concluding his Wednesday evening address after announcing the much-awaited move to lockdown Level 1, President Cyril Ramaphosa asked the country to take up the #JerusalemaChallenge on Heritage Day.
While many people have already started practising their dance moves for the challenge, some don’t think this is the right time to be dancing.
The hit track Jerusalema is by Master KG, real name Kgaogelo Moagi, and features vocalist Nomcebo Zikode. The official music video has been viewed on YouTube more than 140 times, a testament to the power of social media.
The song is the inspiration behind the hashtag #JerusalemaChallenge.
Social media has been flooded with videos from all over the world, showing people doing their take of the dance.
The move to lockdown Level 1 was welcomed by the country but some people thought the dance challenge was ill-timed. They reminded the president of more pressing issues.
Cebokuhle Magagula tweeted: “I am wondering if he has considered that #HumanTrafficking is occurring as we speak. Our #Sisters are not safe.”
— Siyanda Maphumulo (@siyanda_gonzo) September 16, 2020
A user who goes by the name of King Fibonacci wrote that the president and the ruling party were using the #JerusalemaChallenge to divert attention from “pertinent issues” such as unemployment, gender-based violence and crime.
He tweeted: “They’re taking everyone for a fool.”
— King Fibonacci???? (@KingFibonacci2) September 16, 2020
In his address to the nation, Ramaphosa said that there would be increased and improved support for survivors of gender-based violence going forward.
“This includes the rollout of an integrated and multidisciplinary model that incorporates psycho-social support, case investigation, housing services and economic empowerment for survivors under one roof.”
The president also assured the country that “law enforcement agencies are making important progress in investigating allegations of the misuse of Covid-related funds”.
On Twitter, Bongani raised the alarm about the plight of healthcare workers, noting that more than 28,000 of them had contracted the virus and 300 had died during the pandemic.
#JerusalemaDanceChallenge #Jerusalemachallenge #Level1 #EFFMustRise Over 28 000 healthcare worker have contracted the Virus and over 300 deaths of healthcare workers and then they say you must dance. ???? pic.twitter.com/NAW1wn8m6B
— BONGANI (@BONGANI70051850) September 17, 2020
Regarding healthcare workers, Ramaphosa said: “The department of health is working closely with trade unions and other stakeholders to ensure that all health care and other frontline workers have the necessary personal protective equipment and safe working conditions.”
Amarachukwu Okafor tweeted concern about the widespread loss of income that has been prevalent since the start of the lockdown.
So, after months of lockdown and loss of businesses, president Cyril Ramaphosa wants me to start learning how to dance #Jerusalemachallenge.. like really? #Level1 #Jerusalema pic.twitter.com/aMd9lUXSnZ
— Amarachukwu Okafor (#FreeBiafra) (@maokafor) September 16, 2020
During his address, the president acknowledged the economic challenges brought on by lockdown restrictions.
“While much economic activity resumed from June, it is now time to remove as many of the remaining restrictions on economic and social activity as it is reasonably safe to do.”
He went on to say: “The reconstruction and recovery plan that will be finalised will build on the R500 billion economic and social relief package we announced in April, which has provided vital support for households, companies and workers at a time of dire need.”
Despite the mixed feelings about the dance-off, Heritage Day looks set to be a music-filled celebration as scenes of people doing the #JerusalemaChallenge are expected across the country.