“One day when you awaken I will have to say goodbye,” sang Johnny Clegg in Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World, a song he wrote for his son, Jesse, in 1990.
Sadly, that day has come — the musical icon, passionate philanthropist and anti-apartheid activist handed away on Tuesday following an extended struggle with pancreatic cancer.
Here are some things you may not realize approximately Clegg, who, for four a long time, enthralled neighborhood and international audiences with his top notch track and active degree performances:
1. CLEGG WAS AN SA ICON, BUT HE WASN’T BORN IN MZANSI
Clegg turned into born in Bacup, England, in 1953. He immigrated to South Africa whilst he changed into seven years antique.
2. AN ERRAND TO BUY BREAD CHANGED HIS OUTLOOK ON LIFE
When Clegg became 14 years vintage, he changed into sent on a errand to buy bread and milk. Along the way he heard purifier Charlie Mzila playing his conventional Zulu guitar and become captivated by the sound.
He requested his new acquaintance to teach him to play the instrument within the maskandi fashion. Mzila agreed and additionally taught him the artwork of Zulu stick-combating, traditional Zulu dance and a way to compose maskandi music.
The pair became firm pals, formed a dance crew and finished at hostels throughout the City of Gold.
“He [Mzila] opened a whole new universe for me,” Clegg advised The Sunday Times.
And in turn, Clegg and his bands Juluka and Savuka opened an entire new universe for the sector with their clean crossover sound that combined English and Zulu song.
Three. HE CREDITED SCATTERLINGS OF AFRICA AS A GAME-CHANGER
When Clegg and Sipho Mchunu first formed Juluka, they endured to work their day jobs as a lecturer in anthropology at Wits and a gardener, respectively.
In 1983, their arguably excellent-recognised tune, Scatterlings of Africa, made the top 50 charts in the UK. If it wasn’t for this, “I could nevertheless be making track on the side and lecturing — it is as easy as that,” Clegg told The Sunday Times.
This hit tune become additionally featured on the soundtrack to the Oscar-prevailing film, Rain Man.
4. THE WHITE ZULU WAS HUGE IN FRANCE
Clegg amassed a faithful legion of lovers in France. In fact, they were the first to dub him Le Zoulou Blanc, giving upward push to his famous nickname, The White Zulu.
At one point in his career, Clegg’s music became outselling Madonna and Michael Jackson’s in France. Rumour has it the King of Pop changed into compelled to cancel a live performance after it was found it might conflict with certainly one of Clegg’s performances.
Not extraordinarily then, Clegg won the Le Victoire French Music Industry Award for having the largest-selling international song album in France on separate occasions in the overdue ’80s and early ’90s.
Five. HE’S A MUCH-DECORATED FRENCH KNIGHT
Given his popularity in France, it’s no marvel the French government declared Clegg a French cultural “knight” in 1991, when they bestowed him with the honor of the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).
The SA government officially recognized the various ways he’d made Mzansi a better area by means of awarding him the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) in 2012.
According to the Presidency’s website, he was given the respect for his “contribution to and achievement inside the subject of bridging African conventional track with different music bureaucracy, promoting racial know-how amongst racially divided businesses in South Africa below hard apartheid conditions, operating for a non-racial society and being an notable spokesperson for the release of political prisoners.”
More currently, he became protected on Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours List in 2015. Clegg was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his “particular services to the arts, prone human beings and children, and to democracy in SA”.
6. CLEGG NEVER WON A GRAMMY
Despite accomplishing worldwide reputation and success, Clegg become only ever nominated for one Grammy — Savuka’s Heat, Dust and Dreams turned into up for the Best World Music Album award in 1993.
Clegg won’t have taken domestic a golden gramophone, however that doesn’t imply he become short of trophies. Some of his musical accolades encompass triumphing Best World Music Album for Heat, Dust and Dreams at the 1994 Billboard Music Awards and Best African Group at the 1998 KORA All Africa Music Awards.
7. HE INSPIRED SA’S BIGGEST MUSICAL COLLABORATION TO DATE
Fifty of Mzansi’s brightest stars, which include Somizi, Arno Carstens, Lira and Abigail Kubeka, came together to remake Clegg’s hit, The Crossing, past due final yr.
Collectively called the Friends of Johnny Clegg, their intention became to pay tribute to the veteran musician’s lifestyles and work, as well as to raise money for The Click Foundation, a virtual literacy charity for number one college kids.