S.A Musician Johnny Clegg dies at 66

Johnny Clegg, a South Africa musician and anthropologist who recorded and performed with his bands Juluka and Savuka has died after battling with cancer disease for many years.

Johnny Clegg, also Known as the “white Zulu”, was a critic of the apartheid government which ruled until 1994.

He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2015. His long-time music manager, Ronny Quinn, who announced the news of his death, said Clegg left “deep footprints in the hearts of every person that considers himself or herself to be an African”.

Growing up in Manchester he later moved to Zimbabwe with his mother as a young child. 

His early life as a teenager in South Africa’s Johannesburg, he began receiving guitar lessons from Zulu migrant workers. 

After a number of years on the music scene, he earned himself a reputation as a political activist. 

Though it was illegal for a white man to play music with black musicians during the era of racial apartheid, he turned his nose up at the cruel laws. 

He first played with mixed-race band Juluka, though their music was banned from South African airwaves until 1994. 

In a 2017 interview with AFP news agency, he said: “We had to find our way around a myriad of laws that prevented us from mixing across racial lines.” 

Others make recognise his song Dela, which was used in the soundtrack to the 1997 film George of the Jungle. 

After he was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, he cut back on his number of performances in a bid to look after his health. 

Two years later, he set off on a farewell tour entitled The Final Journey, touring America and Africa with his band. 

He passed away in his home in Johannesburg, surrounded by family and loved ones. 


S.A Musician Johnny Clegg dies at 66

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