Johnny Clegg, a South African music icon, will be honored at a star-studded concert on July 17 at the Emmarentia Botanical Gardens in Johannesburg.
Jonathan Paul Clegg (7 June 1953 – 16 July 2019) was a South African musician, singer-songwriter, dancer, anthropologist, and anti-apartheid activist, with a focus on indigenous South African music. Juluka began as a duo with Sipho Mchunu, and was the first group with a white man and a black man in South Africa during the apartheid era. They performed and recorded together, later with a larger lineup.
After receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2015, Johnny Clegg passed away on July 16, 2019. He passed away at home in Johannesburg, surrounded by loved ones, and was buried the next day in Westpark Cemetery. Jonny, his wife, and their two boys, Jesse and Jaron ((also a musician), survived Clegg. The third anniversary of his passing is marked by the “Johnny Clegg Tribute Show.
To honor Clegg’s life and career as a musician, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Karen Zoid, The One Who Sings (Zolani Mahola), Francois van Coke, Sipho Mchunu, Soweto Gospel Choir, Just Jinjer, Springbok Nude Girls, Majozi, Ross Learmonth, Kurt Darren, Arno Carstens, Jesse Clegg, and the Johnny Clegg band will perform.
“His legacy of what it is to truly be oneself and share that self with the world has in no small way I am sure contributed to who I am today. “I am The One Who Sings because Johnny Clegg and other giants like him sang their heart songs loud and clear for all to hear. And for that, he shall never be forgotten.”
Echoing The One Who Sings’ sentiments, Mabuse said: “I really have fond memories of Johnny and all the work he did. He adored me and I adored him. Johnny gave so much to the cultural and musical language of this country and it is an honour to be on the bill to pay tribute to a giant”.
Soweto Gospel Choir added: “Soweto Gospel Choir is truly honoured to be a part of the Johnny Clegg Tribute concert, alongside so many South African music legends. Just as Johnny was a legend. We had a 15-year association and friendship with Johnny, sharing the stage with him many times. We admired his talent, his mentorship, and his friendship immensely, as he became part of our Soweto Gospel Choir family. We will always keep his legacy in our hearts.”
Bright Blue, Ella Mental, and éVoid, three legendary South African rock bands, will also take part in the festivities. The group’s last performance with Clegg was in 1985 at the renowned Concert in the Park at Ellis Park Stadium. Real Concerts, in collaboration with 947 and 702, is organizing the Johnny Clegg Tribute Show.
“Johnny was, and will always be, an icon in South African music. And in our broader society, Johnny managed to build bridges and foster social cohesion as no other entertainer has done. His legacy should be celebrated and his flame kept alive,” said Randall Abrahams, CEO of Primedia Broadcasting. Computicket and TicketPro are selling tickets starting at R225.