Johnny Clegg with longtime bandmate Sipho Mchunu during a performance Pic - Jack Vartoogian

Memorial concert for Johnny Clegg

Kelebogile Bogatsu

The African Cultural Music and Dance Association (ACUMDA) in partnership with Umzansi Zulu Dancers present a memorial concert for Johnny Clegg on Sunday, September 1, at Jules Park, Johannesburg.

  This special day of music and memories, featuring a cast of talented artists who were influenced by Clegg, will honour the contributions he made to performing arts in the Maskandi fraternity.

  ACUMDA have assembled a parade of exceptional artists that will head to downtown Johannesburg for a daylong tribute pulsing with Maskandi, traditional and dance music.

  Headlining the event are Maskandi and traditional music such as Ushameni, Abafana Base-Mzansi, Amankonyane, Izigi Zendoda, Mboneni Zimba and Buselaphi

  ACUMDA is dedicated to making a major contribution to enhance that African cultural element through cultural heritage, music and dance, and to enhance the socio-economic programmes of our country.

  Induna yeSilo, Vusumuzi Thusi, also the chairperson of ACUMDA, expressed the purpose of the memorial concert.

  “The reason we’re making this memorial concert for Johnny Clegg is that during apartheid time he immersed himself among people of colour, which led to his arrest by the white police. As a community, we seek to display Johnny Clegg as a people’s person who had respect and love for Maskandi music and people of colour in general,” he said.

  Sensational dance youth organisation Umzansi Zulu Dancers will get the crowd on their feet with their essential and uplifting ‘isicathamiya’ dance styles, correlated by former Johnny Clegg dancer, Siyazi Zulu.

  “In the Zulu culture, if you’re prolific in something significant, we honour you. Johnny Clegg also played a personal role in my life as he taught me his dances. It’s because of his influence that I’m well-known world-over,” Zulu said.

  Johnny Clegg made an indelible mark in the music industry and the hearts of the people. He formed the band Juluka in 1969 with black guitarist Sipho Mchunu, at a time when mixing among races was illegal under South Africa’s institutional segregation.

  The 1987 hit Asimbonanga, a tribute to Nelson Mandela, who at the time had been imprisoned on Robben Island for over two decades, was one of the high points of a glittering career.
  Clegg played a huge role in African music, as he mastered the Zulu language and the Maskandi guitar, as well as ‘isicathamiya’ dance styles.

  With the support from Downtown Music Hub – who established a good and healthy relationship with Johnny Clegg in crafting some of his classic hits; music lovers of all ages will gather at Jules Park to enjoy the music that the “White Zulu” cherished during his lifetime.

The entertainment starts at 10am, and continues until 17:00. The concert is free and open to all. For further information, please contact Vusumuzi Thusi on 083 422 6940 or Siyazi Zulu on 082 629 1922.

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