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Filmmakers Unite For ‘Jerusalema Dance Project’ Ahead Of Heritage Day

As South Africans celebrate Heritage Day on Thursday, filmakers are showcasing the famous Jerusalema dance in a new project.

Abongwe Booi and Calvin Hayward are among those working on the film and they told the BBC’s Newsday programme that the piece celebrates the unity the song has brought.

Jerusalema is a song by South African artist Master KG that has found popularity around the world, leading to dance challenges in different countries.

President Cyril Ramaphosa asked South Africans to film and share their Jerusalema dance challenges to celebrate Heritage Day.

The day highlights the country’s cultural, religious and political diversity in South Africa.

Mr Booi told BBC Newsday the film was an opportunity to showcase culture while also discussing the differences that exist in the society:

Quote Message: South Africa is imperfect and our people aren’t perfect, but today is the day that we celebrate the diversity and the unity we have within this beautiful nation. And so not to sweep anything under the carpet, but to start and openly have the conversation about the diversity that we have.”
South Africa is imperfect and our people aren’t perfect, but today is the day that we celebrate the diversity and the unity we have within this beautiful nation. And so not to sweep anything under the carpet, but to start and openly have the conversation about the diversity that we have.”

Mr Hayward said the idea to work on a film came after seeing how, in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, the world was finding time to dance to a South African song.

He told the BBC:

Quote Message: Working on a film, we’ve got to work in unity with different departments all the time. I think it’s the perfect analogy of what this country can become, we’re all from different places and cultures but if we listen to each other we can build a beautiful society.”
Working on a film, we’ve got to work in unity with different departments all the time. I think it’s the perfect analogy of what this country can become, we’re all from different places and cultures but if we listen to each other we can build a beautiful society.”

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