Taking on Jerusalema challenge in Constantia

Rearing to go with Michelle Sedgwick are runners and walkerseager to dance the Jerusalema challenge on the False BayRugby Club’s field in Constantia.

There’s a lot more to dancing than running or walking. This is what a group of about 50 panting members of the Constantia branch of Run Walk For Life discovered last Wednesday morning when they tried to give a good account of themselves doing the Jerusalema dance challenge on the field of the False Bay Rugby Club.

Dancing is not just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other – which is what running or walking is all about. Dancing requires accuracy. It must be the right, or possibly even the left foot, but it has to be the correct foot that first goes forward otherwise whatever you are trying to do with music in time with 49 others, is going to be out of step.

Which, for a ballet dancer, even in the back row of the corps de ballet, could be a near-death blow to her career.

Along with starting off with the foot right (which actually is the left foot) for the Jerusalema line dance, you are expected to do a lot of wiggling of hips and waving of arms because this dance is all about letting go and having fun. Which sums up exactly what happened on the rugby field when the lines of our line-dancing got all muddled up when someone turned left instead of right.

The now world-wide, popular upbeat gospel-influenced song by South African DJ and record producer Kgaogelo Moagi, featuring vocalist Nomcebo Zikode, was released online last November. It was such a hit that a music video followed for Christmas and it has now taken the world by storm.

Thanks to President Cyril Ramaphosa promoting the song to celebrate the recent public holiday for Heritage Day, it has even found fans in surprising places in South Africa. Not only have the hospital staff in distant Vredendal released a hilarious video of all the different departments giving it a go in their gowns and boots, but it motivated a bunch of 50 Constantia women to do their best to get the steps right and having a lot of fun in spite of inaccuracies, because they were runners and walkers and not dancers!

Hurray! Life is getting back to normal! We did three things recently that we haven’t been able to do in six months. On Saturday we watched two rugby matches on TV – the Stormers vs the Lions and the Bulls vs the Sharks. Even with no spectators allowed, the wins by the Stormers and the Bulls lifted our spirits which went even higher when we found on Sunday that Silvermine had reopened.

Although spring did not appear to have sprung there yet – with the exception of some lovely proteas in bloom – there was an unusually friendly spirit from the cyclists, dog walkers and families with children we met along the way. They all seemed to be so pleased to be back in this lovely environment that they exchanged greetings with complete strangers.

The final event that made us feel that there was life and light at the end of the tunnel was that on Wednesday we went out to a small dinner party and ate delicious food we had not bought or cooked ourselves.

Spanish flu facts

I’ve always wondered why the 1918 flu pandemic was called “Spanish flu”. It always seemed a bit hard to blame the Spaniards for the death of 50 million people in what was then considered the world’s deadliest pandemic.

According to one reliable source, when the epidemic broke out in the last year of World War I, a decision was taken to maintain the morale of the warring countries, so censors minimised the early reports of illness and death occurring in the USA, France, Germany and the UK.

However, the press were free to report the epidemic’s effects in neutral Spain, including the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII, and this created the false impression that Spain was particularly hard hit.

An unusual aspect of Spanish flu was that it caused an unexpectedly high rate of the death of young adults whereas outbreaks of influenza usually affected the very young or old.

Analysis of medical journals of that pandemic found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous flu strains, but the effects of the war, such as malnourishment, overcrowding in medical camps and hospitals and poor hygiene, promoted a super bacterial infection which played a part in killing so many people.

Negative response

Her kids texted her “plz” which was shorter than please. But she got her own back when she texted back “no” which was shorter than “yes”.

fionachisholm@iafrica.com