Hamba Kahle Johnny Clegg

Struggle days

It should not have escaped your notice that singer, guitarist, composer, anthropologist and activist Johnny Clegg died yesterday, aged 66. Clegg’s life was remarkable for the way that a no-boundaries interest in guitar music drew him into a deep personal and later scholarly immersion in Zulu culture – and how he built on that to speak tirelessly to the world against South Africa’s destructive divisions during the struggle against apartheid. This playlist https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/entertainment/2019-07-17-watch-more-than-just-music-heres-why-mzansi-loved-johnny-clegg/ serves as a reminder of some of his best-loved songs, and you’ll find comprehensive obituaries in almost every newspaper today. He continued to study and publish on the music, and to compose and tour for the rest of his life, until pancreatic cancer forced him to dial back his relentless work schedule. Clegg won accolades for his music and his campaigning, not only in South Africa but overseas, where the French media were responsible for the soubriquet by which he became best known thereafter: “the white Zulu”. Hamba kahle to a courageous and talented artist.


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