Music

This Beat Tape by South African Producers Pays Homage to the Late Johnny Clegg

South African hip-hop producers pay their tribute to the late icon.

South African hip-hop producers such as Beat Mochini, Arsenic, Lebzotic and a few others have come together to pay homage to legendary South African musician Johnny Clegg, who died last month.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Listen to 10 Great Songs From Johnny Clegg

Here are some of the best songs to remember South Africa's son of the soil.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that South African musician, Johnny Clegg, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Understandably, heartfelt tributes have been pouring in ever since. Long before it was cool (or even legal) to be in close proximity to blackness and anything attached to it in South Africa, Clegg, a white man, was doing just that. That is exactly why he was given the endearing title of South Africa's "son of the soil."

Growing up during Apartheid, Clegg was taught how to speak the Zulu language by a domestic worker named Charlie Mzila. In his teenage years, his appreciation for the Zulu culture continued and he soon learnt the traditional dance styles known as isishameni and also learnt how to play the Maskandi guitar. Clegg's music was a beacon of light during a very dark time in South Africa's history and his songs about Nelson Mandela (at a time where songs were banned for merely mentioning the name of the late statesman and other key struggle activists) brought the country together.

It is irrefutable that a music giant has fallen. However, Clegg leaves behind a wealth of music featuring other great South African artists and groups such as Zakwe, Brenda Fassie, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Juluka/Suvuka, among several others. His music undeniably brought South Africans and people all around the world together.

We've picked ten of our favorite songs from the late musician's discography in honor of a life that was lived to the fullest.

Keep reading... Show less
News
(Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns via Getty Images)

South African Musical Icon Johnny Clegg Has Died

Rest in peace to one of "South Africa's greatest sons."

South African musician Johnny Clegg, passed away on Tuesday at his home in Johannesburg, following a four year battle with pancreatic cancer, Reuters reports. He was 66.

The artist was the founder of the bands Juluka and Savuka, two mixed-raced bands formed during the apartheid era. He was known as a vocal critic of the apartheid regime, writing the 1987 song "Asimbonanga" for a then incarcerated Nelson Mandela. The song became a rallying cry for South Africans fighting or freedom.

He performed the tribute with Mandela on stage in 1999, which you can watch below.

Keep reading... Show less
News

Nelson Mandela Tributes: Top 10 Mandela Day Music Moments

For our Mandela Day birthday celebration, we've compiled for you the top 10 Nelson Mandela tributes in music.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.