#RIPJohnnyClegg: SA sheds a collective tear for one of its biggest music icons

FILE PHOTO: South African singer Johnny Clegg performs during the South Africa Gala night at the Monte Carlo opera. Picture: Reuters

FILE PHOTO: South African singer Johnny Clegg performs during the South Africa Gala night at the Monte Carlo opera. Picture: Reuters

Published Jul 17, 2019


After news had reached social media on the passing of music legend Johnny Clegg, Twitter went into overdrive. 

Clegg, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, died at his family home in Johannesburg.

"Johnny leaves deep footprints in the hearts of every person that considers him/herself to be an African. He showed us what it was to assimilate to and embrace other cultures without losing your identity," said a statement released by Roddy Quin, manager, friend and family spokesperson.

"An anthropologist that used his music to speak to every person. With his unique style of music he traversed cultural barriers like few others. In many of us he awakened awareness."

But it's been the outpouring of condolences and messages of support for his family that has South Africans digging up old footage of Clegg back in his heyday. If the younger generation had no idea of his contribution to SA music before, now they know.

What an amazing life lived with a testimony that non-racialism is indeed possible. Rest easy Johnny Clegg.... #JohnnyClegg pic.twitter.com/i8Qs8r9uuT

— Ice Tiye 🥃 (@sveveni) July 16, 2019

RIP #JohnnyClegg. You were a bridge, a confluence of cultures, a unifier - never a divider. A great South African

— Barney Mthombothi (@mthombothi) July 16, 2019

A huge loss for the South African Music Industry. RIP #JohnnyClegg may your music legacy live on. pic.twitter.com/2DEWM7GQTW

— DERICK D HYDE (@HDirkH) July 16, 2019

Ah, #JohnnyClegg- You were the soundtrack to the years of battle against the regime. Especially treasured by those sentenced to fight the system from within. The owls have called your name, fly in love and respect. Hamba Kahle.

— Roi Simpson (@roisimpson) July 16, 2019

A life well lived... #RestInPeace🇿🇦

Forever in our hearts... #JohnnyClegg pic.twitter.com/25SoXorTyU

— CATHERINE Constantinides (@ChangeAgentSA) July 16, 2019

I love the scatterlings of Africa

Each and every one

In their hearts a burning hunger

Beneath the copper sun

.. #johnnyclegg #ripjohnnclegg pic.twitter.com/3GNsxlHhEL

— king Hauza (@hawulethu) July 16, 2019

Heartbroken at the passing of #JohnnyClegg💔

An icon in SA and across the world, a role model for peace, his music lives forever. Music I grew up with and music that my kids have grown up with.

🇿🇦 RIP pic.twitter.com/BqVGiUafDl

— MammaChef Jozi (@MammaChefJozi) July 16, 2019

In a world that’s often divisive, myopic & unkind, there are good people who make an effort to know the other person. Respecting their culture & traditions #JohnnyClegg did that in an Apartheid & Free South Africa. They called him a “white Zulu” because Africa was in his soul RIP pic.twitter.com/DstKiP54p7

— Lerato Mbele (@Mbele_Roberts) July 16, 2019

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