At this point I feel that it’s every South African’s national duty to watch Johnny Clegg live. Irrespective of what the Parlotones market on their album covers, they are NOT South Africa’s greatest export. Johnny Clegg has been making waves on the international music scene since the early 80’s, first with Juluka, then Savuka, and currently as Johnny Clegg and band.
The last time I saw Johnny Clegg was at the Kirstenbosch Gardens. A green hill packed with 5000 wanna be white zulus: I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the show. The nice thing about Clegg is that you’re always surprised at the amount of songs you know, the feelings that they evoke and the joy that a Clegg concert provides.
A mix of traditional Zulu guitar and Western melody, Clegg shot to international fame during the ‘Apartheid’ Days with his disregard for the race laws and cultural boundaries of South Africa at the time. This provided for a wealth of creativity never seen before in South Africa or the globe, and made him a world-famous musician and (political) super star.
Last night I attended the 30th Anniversary concert featuring members from Juluka and Savuka, a rare occasion. Zulu dancing, zulu dancers, live band and video footage of Madiba; what a legend. The sold out arena made a for a perfect Proudly South African night out! Even the Grand Arena staff couldn’t help being pulled in by the zulu dancers’ performance and music! Here’s to 30 years of Clegg music representing South Africa in our true light, may there be many more years to follow.