SA pays tribute to Johnny Clegg
The ultimate spirit of the Great Heart, Johnny Clegg, has passed away.
Hearing the news of Johnny’s passing last night didn’t feel like reality. As a South African it’s a reality you don’t think will happen. Of course, such an icon lives forever through his music, spirit and ideologies.
Le Zoulou Blanc “The White Zulu” passed away at his family home at the age of 66 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Despite being arrested and censored, Johnny continued to not only cross but smash the racial divide during Apartheid.
Talking to 702 just before his Final Journey tour, he spoke about bridging that divide.
“Politics found me, I was not the guy who was walking down the road, saw a fence and said, ‘why is there a fence in the road?’ I asked a different question, I asked ‘oh there’s a fence in the road, where are the holes?”
Scatterling of Africa
South Africans (including many politicians) took to social media to pay tribute to the iconic musician’s awe-inspiring influence on music and social cohesion in the country.
Get ready for waterworks!
His music is amongst the soundtracks of the birth of a new nation, bounded together by a common vision of a non-racial, non- sexist, free and united society. We salute one of the great sons of our soil, #JohnnyClegg – May his soul RIP.
Thank you for the music pic.twitter.com/pyVVTviJGR
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) July 17, 2019
Dear SA Media. Johnny Clegg was African. In African culture we don’t say “died”, out of respect. In my home language IsiXhosa we say “uswelekile” or “ubhubhile” or “usishiyile” – the latter one translated as “passed away”. Please use “passes away” or “passes on”. Thank you
— Ace Ncobo – Spot On (@AceNcobo) July 17, 2019
The ANC is saddened by the untimely passing of one of South Africa’s music legend Mr. Johnny Clegg. Mr. Clegg, 66, has not been well for sometime as he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015. Mr. Clegg was known as the voice of transition in South Africa.#RIPJohnnyClegg pic.twitter.com/nhj2qgyLCs
— African National Congress (@MYANC) July 17, 2019
Johnny Clegg didn’t just touch South Africa with his music but the whole of Africa. His music gave u that pride of being an African. The great Lion has fallen indeed😢😭😢#RIPJohnnyClegg pic.twitter.com/TmRUiNCJL6
— Happiness dube (@Luvbird4eva) July 17, 2019
Thank you, Johnny Clegg. I’ve spent hundreds of hours listening to your music. It sustained me through hard times. You envisioned an immensely beautiful South Africa, radically different from the one I knew as a kid. I can’t believe you’re dead. May your memory be a blessing.
— Peter Beinart (@PeterBeinart) July 16, 2019
The Nelson Mandela Foundation mourns the passing of a musical icon and a freedom fighter Johnny Clegg. We are blessed to have seen him. We will keep singing Asimbonanga. We will keep working for the country of his dreams. Hamba kahle qhawe lamaqhawe. pic.twitter.com/N72BrpOW8B
— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) July 16, 2019
— Masechaba Ndlovu 🏳️🌈 (@MasechabaNdlovu) July 16, 2019
Rest in Peace, Johnny Clegg, and thank you for all you have done for our nation; you are indeed ‘every stripe of the rainbow’.