Johnny Clegg, son of the soil

The Sunday Independent - - LEADER -

ANY South African who was an adult in the 1980s dur­ing the height of apartheid can never for­get Ju­luka – the Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu duo that en­ter­tained us with tra­di­tional Zulu Maskandi mu­sic and dances.

Clegg and Mchunu be­came sym­bols of love and unity and South Africans re­sponded in kind to their mu­sic and per­for­mances which gained pop­u­lar­ity here and abroad.

In the process they united us when racism and seg­re­ga­tion sought to en­sure that no white man could ever learn the cul­ture and tra­di­tions of an African, let alone per­fect them. Clegg moved and danced like a true Zulu war­rior.

Clegg was the rea­son white males who risked jail by vis­it­ing and spend­ing time with black folks in the town­ships dur­ing the days of the no­to­ri­ous Group Ar­eas Act were chris­tened ‘Ju­luka’.

Now Clegg has come to the end of his mu­sic ca­reer due to ill health. We are sad to bid farewell to a son of the soil whose love and re­spect for tra­di­tional mu­sic and dance held many here and abroad in awe.

We wish him a speedy re­cov­ery and that he rest as­sured his hu­mil­ity and his mu­sic will live for­ever in the hearts and minds of South Africans.

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