Interview

Nomcebo Zikode On Life After 'Jerusalema'

The South African singer talks about the "Jerusalema" phenomenon, releasing her debut album, and giving back.

During her first trip to the United States, Nomcebo Zikode was handed the keys to the city of Miami by commissioners Joe Carollo and Jeffery Watson. It was a moment that left the South African singer and songwriter somewhat taken aback. "They said, 'We are so proud of you. You made us all motivated during a difficult time," she recalls to OkayAfrica. "I was thinking I made Africans proud, but I didn't know that even Americans, white people, are proud of me too. It's just shown me that in life, if you hold onto something, if you have dreams and never give up on them, they are going to become reality."

35-year-old Zikode had always wanted to share her voice with others. Born in Hammarsdale, Kwazulu Natal, now based in Johannesburg, she was captivated by local singers when she was a child. "From a young age, I was listening to South African music like Brenda Fassie, Rebecca Malope and I also used to love Whitney Houston with all my heart. I used to make a lot of noise singing that song, 'I Will Always Love You,' and my neighbors used to say I was too loud. But I wasn't disrespecting them when I was singing. I was just a happy child who loved singing and dancing. And I wanted to make others happy."

"Jerusalema" — and its monumental success — certainly has made people happy. On the back of the song's widespread acclaim, which Zikode worked on with Master KG, she has been traveling through Europe and the US, performing to audiences that got to know the song through the lockdown brought about by the pandemic. The story of the song's global rise -- sparked by a viral video of Angolans dancing to the uplifting Gospel-inspired track -- is well known. For Zikode, the story of what comes next is still being written.

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Still taken from YouTube - 'Jerusalema' music video.

Master KG’s Hit ‘Jerusalema’ Becomes Most Shazamed Song in the World

The South African singer has certainly lived up to his name with this new feat.

Buzzing South African Master KG's hit single "Jerusalema" was named as the most Shazamed song by the Apple-owned music app. The song, originally released in 2019, made waves earlier this year with the Jerusalema dance challenge taking over the global music scene.

The news, made official on September 8, was announced by Shazam's instagram account with them congratulating the singer on his incredible accomplishment. Master KG himself took to Twitter to thank his fans and share in the glory.

See all the official social media posts below. Join the hype and listen to "Jerusalema" by Master KG underneath.

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'Jerusalema' Hit-Maker Nomcebo Zikode Releases Her Solo Album 'Xola Moya Wam''

Listen to Nomcebo Zikode's new album 'Xola Moya Wam''.

Listen to Master KG and Nomcebo's 'Jerusalema' Remix Featuring Burna Boy

We didn't know Master KG and Nomcebo's hit track 'Jerusalema' even needed a remix—Burna Boy shows why it does.

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