Johnny Clegg, son of the soil
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.