South Africa may have lost one of its most celebrated songwriter, musician and dancer Jonathan Johnny Clegg but they have indicated that his music lives on.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that Clegg, yielded to pancreatic cancer at the age of 66 at his family’s house in Johannesburg, South Africa.
As an anthropologist, Clegg used his songs to speak to every person. With his dynamic style of music, he traversed cultural barriers like few others. The musician was regarded as an important figure in South African popular music, with songs that mix Zulu with English lyrics and African with various Western music styles.
The British- born Clegg was dubbed, “White Zulu” artiste and was a vocal critic of the Apartheid regime government which was in power until 1994.
Among his best and Zuluhit ‘Asimbonanga’ (We have not seen him) was dropped in 1987 dedicated to the freedom of the late first black South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela.
Besides lecturing at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Natal respectively, Johnny studied anthropology and unite his studies with music.
Clegg was once honoured for his excellent impact to and achievement in the field of bridging African traditional music with other, music forms, contributing to the promotion of racial understanding among racially divided groups in South Africa under complicated apartheid conditions, working for a non-racial society and being an outstanding advocate for the release of political prisoners.
He also received some honorary doctorates from Dartmouth College in the USA, Universities of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and the City University of New York.
Clegg’s footprints Jesse Clegg who is also a recording artiste displaying a style markedly different from that of his father; in 2008 he dropped his debut album When I Wake Up. As a rock musician, the young Clegg has quickly built up a reputation, with the album being nominated for two South African Music Awards.
Clegg is survived by his 31-year-old wife Jenny and their two sons Jesse and Jaron.