Makhanda Unites in Song

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Wednesday, 9th September 2020
Makhanda gets their moves ready before the big day on 27 September 2020 when they hit the road with a #JerusalemaDanceChallengeGht.


The world-wide #JerusalemaDanceChallenge phenomenon has spurred on a movement in Makhanda as a way for civil society to unite in positivity and hope as the town grapples with challenges such as aging infrastructure and Covid-19. 

In the backdrop of Tourism and Heritage month, residents from all corners of Makana will be putting their best foot forward to dance to the famous beats of Master KG's song on Sunday, 27 September in the historic town of Makhanda.

Once known to be the second largest city in the country during the 1900s, Makhanda formerly known as Grahamstown is a melting pot of diverse culture and rich history with academic and legal excellence at the forefront of the town’s identity.

Speaking on her idea to organize Makhanda's very own Jerusalema Dance Challenge, Makhanda resident, Anna-Maré Herselman said the town had faced several issues this year from the continously detoriating roads to the Covid-19 pandemic which halted annual events that the community benefited from.

"Makhanda has lost the spirit of unity due to the fact we could not enjoy a person-to-person National Arts Festival". Herselman added: "I want to unite the 
town and I think after all we've been through this year, it will be amazing!" 

Herselman alongside Makhanda residents,
Danika Pearson and Francois "Frankie" van Eck made a Facebook appeal to the community and within a short period of time, their bid to spread positivity was swamped with support.

"I would love this challenge to uplift the people of Makhanda, to break through negativity and release joy," said van Eck who will be helping with the choreography. "Dance is a universal language and a powerful way to break barriers as well as a perfect way to celebrate Heritage Day as a community," he added.

Kyle Badenhorst who also volunteered as a choreographer believed it was important for the diverse Makhanda community to stand together and unite, and doing it through music would be a heartfelt experience. "My profession, passion and life is dancing, and to be a part of something like this is special," he said.

Photograper and Makhanda resident Luthando Mpofu took up the role of the photographer for the event because she was passionate about bringing the community together. "And Jerusalema brings back unity. Capturing and sharing moments is bonus," she said.

Herselman said the event will also help raise funds for Makana Revive and McKaiser Old Age Home. "These are the two organisations that we feel have the biggest need for funds at the moment," she said.

"Makana Revive is an amazing initiative started to maintain and fix our city's roads which are in a dire state! Our hearts are also breaking for the elderly in the midst of Covid-19 which is why we would like to help them in anyway we can".

Participants will be asked for a small donation of R5 or more. Donation stations will be located at one of the prominent potholes in the centre of town. 

Everyone is encouraged to participate and dress up in the colours of the South African flag. 

Herselman has cautioned that the elderly, vulnerable and sick who are advised to self isolate and stay home not to participate. She also said strict Covid-19 regulations would be adhered to. "This will be a socially distanced 'coming together' to uplift our spirits," she added.

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