By PRUDENCE MINI
Against the backdrop of Tourism and Heritage Month, the #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 aging infrastructure and the economic effects of the Covid-19 lockdown, residents from all corners of Makana will be putting their best foot forward on Sunday 27 September to dance to the famous beats of Master KG’s song in Makhanda’s Church Square.
Makhanda resident Anna-Maré Herselman is the co-ordinator of Makhanda’s very own Jerusalema Dance Challenge. She said the town had faced several challenges this year, from continuously deteriorating roads to the Covid-19 pandemic, which put a halt to community activities.
“Makhanda has lost the spirit of unity due to the fact we could not enjoy a person-to-person National Arts Festival,” said Herselman, who owns the Ladies 1st driving school. “I want to unite the town and I think after all we’ve been through this year, it will be amazing!”
Herselman alongside Graeme College teacher Danika Pearson and dance instructor 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 direct 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.”
Kyle Badenhorst, who will assist with choreography, believes it’s important for the diverse Makhanda community to stand together and unite.
“My profession, passion and life is dancing, and to be a part of something like this is special,” he said.
Photograper Luthando Mpofu, who is also passionate about bringing the community together, will capture the event through her lens.
“Jerusalema brings back unity. Capturing and sharing moments is a 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 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 said strict Covid-19 protocols would be adhered to. “This will be a socially distanced ‘coming together’ to uplift our spirits,” she said.
HOW TO TAKE PART IN MAKHANDA’S OWN #JerusalemaDanceChallenge
Date and time: Sunday 27 September at 3pm
Venue: Church Square, High street (in front of Standard Bank)
Dress code: Colours of the South African Flag (and feel free to bring your South African flag)
Covid-19 protocol: Strict social distancing of 2 metres at all times and everyone must wear a face mask.
Practice: Follow the link below for how to do the steps. Plus practice will take place on Sunday, 20 and Thursday, 24 September. Venue to be confirmed.
Cost: R5 or more donation for Makana Revive and McKaiser Old Age Home
More information: bit.ly/3lQykg5