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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Neil D Obit: Johnny Clegg (1953-2019) (14) Obit: Johnny Clegg 17 Jul 19


Back in the 80's I turned on my TV and was greeted by some amazing music like I had never heard before. It was an integrated band being fronted by a white guy singing Zulu music and dancing the Warrior Dance. It was my introduction to African music which I came to love in all its forms and still frequently listen to.
This band was Suvuka and the front man was the incredible Johnny Clegg, Le Zoulou Blanc (White Zulu). As I came to know his story, of being arrested for the first time at age 15 for being caught in the black parts of Johannesburg after curfew; he was arrested several times but they couldn't stop his embrace of Zulu culture, its language, music and dance; I came to think he was the coolest white guy on earth. Perhaps he was. I know he never stopped fighting for human rights while exposing Zulu culture to the world.
Yesterday he succumbed to a four year battle with pancreatic cancer and I wept for him. I'll send him on with his own words from his song "The Crossing":

Chorus: O Siyeza, o siyeza, sizofika webaba noma
(we are coming, we are coming, we will arrive soon)
O siyeza, o siyeza, siyagudle lomhlaba
(we are coming, we are coming, we are moving across this earth)
Siyawela lapheshaya lulezontaba ezimnyama
(we are crossing over those dark mountains)
Lapha sobheka phansi konke ukhulupheka
(where we will lay down our troubles)


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