Sadly last week the great Johnny Clegg died. He was just 66.
Born in 1953 in Bacup, a small town near Manchester, England - at the age of 6 he moved to South Africa with his Rhodesian mother.
The Grammy-nominated singer, sometimes called the “White Zulu”, will live long for many:
“Johnny leaves deep footprints in the hearts of every person that considers himself or herself to be an African” Clegg’s manager, Roddy Quin said.
South Africa’s government paid tribute to Clegg’s achievements on Twitter, saying his music could “unite people across the races and bring them together as a community. Clegg has made an indelible mark in the music industry and the hearts of the people,” they said.
The first I heard of him was the song "Scatterlings of Africa". A UK singles chart entry in 1983 with his band Juluka (an unusual musical partnership for the time in South Africa, with a white man (Clegg) and a black man (Sipho Mchunu) performing together. Just as unusually, the band's music combined Zulu, Celtic and rock elements, with both English and Zulu lyrics. Those lyrics often contained coded political messages and references to the battle against apartheid. "Scatterlings" was heard again in 1987 with a new band Savuka (containing dancer Dudu Zulu). This video is from that time. Thanks for the memory Johnny.
Further listening > (google: 'Utshani Obulele' - 'Devana' - 'Thamela' all from the 'One Life' album).